Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies

Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies

Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies

It looks like spring has arrived here in our part of the world. Temperatures have risen, the days keep getting longer and cherry trees are in full bloom. It’s done; there’ll be no going back to winter now.

Maybe it’s from being stuck under dark grey clouds for months, but this time of year makes me wanderlust.
My feet itch, not for any specific place, but the distant someplace beckons.

We walked under the warm sun this weekend, found a cosy patio and over coffee and scones, planned our next trip.

Whenever I feel restless and the urge to travel becomes unbearable, I read, I guess, as a way to travel through my imagination.

Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies

Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies

I’ve been reading some exciting books lately; these stories are forming the next places I want to visit.
My mind also wanders to what I’d take on these trips, more books for company for sure, but what I go into detail planning are the meals I’d like to bring at the start of these travels.

There’s something comforting about bringing food from home on a journey.
I love homemade hand pies on long trips, especially on plane rides – hand pies make portable satisfying snacks when travelling.

They keep and travel well, and are relatively easy to make; you can fill them with whatever you want. I love to use pesto, leftover veggies and quick sauces as filling for mine.

Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies

Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies

Hand pies are universal; with the savoury kind garnering several names, empanadas, pasties, patty, calzone, we call them meat pie where I come from.

Now, these pesto, lentil and basil hand pies are just a bunch of leftovers we’ve managed to cobble together brilliantly.

I chose to use bread dough here but flaky pastry dough, like the one used in these apple hand pies would work pretty well too.

You don’t have to make the chopped herbs and lentil salad, it’s in there because it needed to be used up.
I’d love to make a simple filling of crushed lentils with chopped red onions drizzled with olive oil for next time, but use whatever filling you like. I hope this recipe acts as a general guide to creating many tasty hand pie combinations!

They freeze well too, this batch has extras in the freezer, I’ll be baking and bringing them along on that next trip I’ve been dreaming of…

Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies

Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies
[Tweet ” Savoury portable #pesto and lentil filled #vegan hand pies “]

Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies
Portable savoury pies filled with your tasty leftovers!
For Dough
  1. 1 1/2 cups warm water
  2. 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  3. 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (plus more for bowl)
  4. 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, plus more for sprinkling on pie
  5. 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  6. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  7. 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  8. 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  9. 2 cups whole-wheat flour (I used white whole-wheat flour)
For Filling
  1. 2 cups or more chopped herbs and lentil salad or any savoury leftover filling
  2. 1 cup or more pesto (try this marcona almond and mint pesto or this arugula and basil one
  3. A handful of small basil leaves
To make dough
  1. Grease a large bowl with oil and set aside
  2. Pour warm water in another large bowl and sprinkle with yeast.
  3. Let it stand for about 5 minutes or until foamy
  4. Add oil, sugar, garlic powder, cumin and salt
  5. Add flours, and stir with a wooden spoon to form a sticky dough
  6. Transfer bowl into other large greased bowl, drizzle oil over top and cover with plastic wrap.
  7. Let dough sit in a warm spot until it’s doubled in size, about an hour
  8. Turn dough out on a clean flour-dusted surface, and knead until smooth
To make pie
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking tray with parchment paper
  2. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out thin (you want it thin because the yeasted dough will rise while baking)
  3. Use a 4 or 6-inch round cookie cutter (or food mold or round bowl) to cut out circles from the dough
  4. Add a tablespoon filling, a teaspoon of pesto and two or three basil leaves onto the center of half of the cut-outs
  5. Brush edges with water and then cover with the other halves of the cut-outs.
  6. Press to seal and make ridges around the edge using a fork dipped in flour
  7. Pierce top of pies twice with a fork, brush with coconut oil and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, transfer on to the baking tray
  8. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until pies are golden brown
  9. Enjoy while still warm or at room temperature
the Whinery by Elsa Brobbey
Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies

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  • Reply grandbabycakes

    Wow girl these hand pies are insanely beautiful. Also the ingredient blend is so unique and delicious. I wish I had a few right now.

    4 March, 2015 at 8:12 am
    • Reply Elsa | the whinery

      Awww thank you,it’s just a bunch of leftovers that I scrounged together. I just knew it’ll make a yummy filling, but then again, everything tastes yummy in a hand pie:)

      4 March, 2015 at 10:39 pm
  • Reply Katie @ Produce on Parade

    Oh my! These are so beautiful. You are truly a professional. And what a brilliant combination of lentils and pesto, yum! I am also feeling extraordinarily yearning to go somewhere nice. Just today I was looking at tickets to Hawaii!! Looking…not buying 🙁

    4 March, 2015 at 5:32 pm
    • Reply Elsa | the whinery

      Yes, a professional eater!:) OMG, I’ve been looking at Hawaii tickets recently too, I’ve never been and I’m thinking this is the year:)

      4 March, 2015 at 10:41 pm
  • Reply Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry

    I have been dreaming of doing a sierra leonean version of hand pies with my kiddoes so I am going to bookmark this recipe as my starting point. Thanks E.

    5 March, 2015 at 3:53 am
    • Reply Elsa | the whinery

      Oh you definitely should make them. The kids would love it, it’s like playing with play dough except it’s edible… so more fun!

      5 March, 2015 at 9:23 am
  • Reply ConfusedJulia

    LOVE the look of these pies. I’ve been a bit of a lentil pie kick recently, but have never had one with pesto! Definitely going to give these a go. Found you through the BH FB page, FYI 🙂

    10 March, 2015 at 8:31 am
    • Reply Elsa | the whinery

      Hi Julia! Thanks and nice to meet you:) Lentils and pesto are so yummy together, you’ll want to put them on everything one you try it together!

      11 March, 2015 at 10:23 am
  • Reply theconsciousdietitian

    I think you are one of my new favourite blogs! Your photos are so beautiful and I think we have the same taste in food. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    10 March, 2015 at 11:42 am
    • Reply Elsa | the whinery

      Hahaha… I think you’re right. I just spent some time browsing yours:-). That yummy looking peanut and banana oatmeal is on my to-do list this weekend! Can’t wait to browse some more:)

      11 March, 2015 at 10:28 am
  • Reply De

    If you plan to freeze, do you recommend freezing them raw, and then pulling them out of the freezer and cooking them (defrosting first?) or cooking them and freezing them ready to eat so you just have to defrost/warm up?

    11 March, 2015 at 7:41 am
    • Reply Elsa | the whinery

      Yes, you can freeze them raw. First, freeze them on a parchment lined tray, and transfer into a resealable freezer bag after they’re completely frozen. You can freeze them for up to 3 months. When you’re ready, bake them (no need to thaw) at a higher temperature (about 400 degrees) for 15 mins then lower the temp.
      You can try baking them first before freezing, I haven’t tried this but I think it’ll work, you’d have to thaw them first, then bake or warm them up. Hope this helps!:-)

      11 March, 2015 at 10:44 am
  • Reply Elsa | the whinery

    Thank you Chelsey:) Yes, I think it’ll be perfect for supper, perhaps with a side of soup?

    11 March, 2015 at 10:19 am
  • Reply Elsa | the whinery

    Thank you Anna! I hope you try it, and let me know what you think!:)

    11 March, 2015 at 10:25 am
  • Reply Kelsey M

    Wow these look amazing and what a wonderful savory combination! Whenever I feel the need to “get away” (physically or mentally) I usually turn to books but it usually only makes the desire to travel stronger!

    11 March, 2015 at 8:56 pm
    • Reply Elsa | the whinery

      Same here Kelsey, the desire to travel does get stronger but the few hours you get to escape is so worth it, don’t you think? 🙂

      12 March, 2015 at 4:52 pm
  • Reply Courtney

    I’m so glad I found your recipe! They really do look sooo good! I think my readers will really enjoy it. Thanks again, and here is the link for you!
    5 Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

    13 March, 2015 at 9:33 am
  • Reply Tedi

    YUM! These look so delicious!! You are always so creative.

    26 April, 2015 at 4:36 pm
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