Friday 2 December 2011

Friday Feast - Vegetables a l'anglaise or Vegetable Nest

I refer to this recipe as Vegetable Nest although its proper name is Vegetables a l'anglaise - meaning 'cooked in a homely manner'.

The recipe, from Sarah Brown's 'Vegetarian Cookery book' 1984, says it doesn't take long to make - I do beg to differ on this as there's quite a bit of cleaning and chopping of vegetables, then the 'nest' is made and baked, then baked again with the filling added. So, do work out the time it's going to take to make - despite using this recipe for well over 20 years I often underestimate the time I need to make it, will I ever learn?! However, it's so delicious that it truly is worthwhile making the effort - plus it's a veggie dish with a difference if you have vegetarian's coming to 'break bread' with you over the festivities.

Vegetables a l'anglaise

Serves 4

2lb (900g) potatoes, peeled
4oz (110g) Cheddar cheese
1 onion, peeled
2 tablespoons oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 leeks, washed and finely chopped
1lb (450g) carrots, scrubbed and diced
1 small cauliflower, divided into florets
8oz (225g) mushrooms, wiped and sliced
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons fresh parsley or rosemary - finely chopped

For the topping:
4oz (110g) Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 180 degrees C.

Grate the raw potatoes, cheese and half the onion by hand or in a food processor. Mix in 2 tablespoons of oil and season well. Press this mixture into a 9 inch (23 cm) deep pie dish (I use a large souffle dish), building up the sides to form a shell or a 'nest'. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the crust is just beginning to brown.

Meanwhile prepare the vegetables. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the remaining onion (chopped), leeks, carrots and cauliflower florets slowly for 5-10 minutes, turning them over in the pan. Then add the sliced mushrooms and continue cooking all the vegetables for a further 5 minutes with the pan covered. Add the herbs, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Next, pile the vegetables into the baked cheese and potato crust (nest) and sprinkle 4oz (110g) cheese mixed with 1 tablespoon chopped parsley over the top. Bake for 20 minutes until the edges of the shell look crisp and the cheese has melted. Serve hot.

We find that this dish is lovely just as it comes with nothing else to go with it. But, you could serve it with a green vegetable or a side salad. Crusty bread would probably also be a good accompaniment - and maybe a cheese or tomato sauce.

The main thing to bear in mind, as I said, is the time to prep. all the vegetables and of course the cooking time. But, it's truly worthwhile!! Enjoy, if you do decide to give it a try!



  1. My mouth is watering just looking at this and I don't even like veggies lol.

  2. This sounds good. Chris likes his meat but occasionally I manage to slip a veggie meal in. I have sent the link to my son as his partner is vegetarian. He usually eats with her. He says he gets his meat in a sausage butty for breakfast! Kate x

  3. I will definately give this a try.
    Congratulations you have won a prise on the Penny Black at Allsorts Nov. challenge.
    MFT stands for My Favorite Things also know as Die-namics.
    Well done Di.

    Kath x

  4. Oooooh this sounds very tasty. xxxxx Thanks for sharing xxxx

  5. That sounds seriously tasty Di. thanks for sharing.....I wonder how many others use your blog like a recipe book :-)
    A x

  6. I shall be keeping and trying this one. I am not a veggie but I love vegetables. If I have a lot of veg left over from a family gathering, I keep them till the next day, layer them in a casserole with enough stock to keep them moist, then cover with a layer of mashed potato. then I grate cheese all over the top with a sprinkle of Paprika, and cook it in a hot oven until it turns golden and a bit crispy round the edges (I scrape the edge bits for me). Thank you for your visit and I hope you enjoy the fridge cake.

  7. Ooh I love anything with veggies in it, haven't met one I don't like yet, well, apart from sweet potato that is!! Looks like a real winter warmer this one. If you haven't done so already, pop over to PB@Allsorts as you've won a prize! have a great weekend, I hope to get back to my craft room finally!


  8. Hi Di, Oh so mouth watering again! alread got tea sorted out on a night out with a meal.........thanks for sharing this:) Sandra H

  9. Yum yum veggie dishes, not over keen on meat....looking at this is making my mouth water!! Loverly...xx

  10. I'm lovin this one too Di - Wow! I'm printing it as soon as I write this comment. You really do have some pretty great recipes my friend!

  11. This recipe is just my kind of food - it looks delicious and I can almost smell it. Will definitely be giving it a try soon. Elizabeth x

  12. This sounds utterly delicious! I'll be making it this weekend for my veggie daughter and non-veggie hubby, it's just the kind of thing they like. Thank you!!

    love MagsB x

  13. My friend used to make this for me, I have lost touch with her but am so glad to have found the recipe. I love this dish and you really don't need meat with it.

  14. I've just found your page after trying to explain Mummy baked this as a girl in the 80s to my girl. Thank you we are making it later!!!


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