Skillet #14 - Scout's mushroom pie with fennel salad and sweet potato mash


Fair Food Challenge’s own Scout came in and demonstrated their classic family recipe for a delicious mushroom pie, alongside a fresh spring salad and an easy sweet potato mash. Alongside coordinating the Skillet Community Kitchen program, Scout is a current masters of environment student at the University of Melbourne and is passionate about fostering sustainable food systems.

Scout - “This is one of my go-to recipes in winter as it is so nourishing and filling: the perfect kind of meal for sitting next to a fire and gorging on. The salad adds a little bit of freshness to what would otherwise be a very heavy meal and I generally use the sweet potato mash as more of a desert-ish component at the end of the meal as the sweet cinnamon flavor is always nice to finish on.”


Mushroom pie with Fennel salad and sweet potato mash:

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 1 hr

Serves: 4 – 6 people



  • 1 kg finely sliced mushrooms (button or flat)

  • 1x small bunch kale or spinach (chopped)

  • 2x diced brown onions

  • 5x minced garlic cloves

  • 1x sliced leek

  • ½ bunch sliced celery

  • 1x sprig rosemary (finely chopped)

  • 1x small bunch thyme (finely chopped)

  • ½ cup parsley (chopped)

  • 1x can brown lentils

  • A few sheets of frozen puff pastry (the cheaper brands are almost always vegan)

  • 3 large sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped)

  • 1x cup soy milk

  • Olive oil

  • 1x bulb fennel (sliced)

  • ½ cup lemon juice

  • ¼ cup vinegar (white wine or apple cider will work best)

  • Ground cinnamon, to taste

  • Salt and pepper to taste





  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

  2. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and combine diced onion, minced garlic, the leek and the equivalent of 3 stalks of the sliced celery. Cook until fragrant and translucent.

  3. Add in the chopped rosemary and thyme and begin to add mushrooms in batches. As the mushrooms reduce and continue to add more until all gone. Continue to cook for 10 – 15 mins until the mix is quite wet.

  4. While this is cooking grease an oven tray or baking dish with some olive oil and line with defrosted puff pastry, making sure to leave excess at the top of the tray (so you can fold it over the lid of the pie to “seal” it)

  5. Stir the chopped kale (or spinach) and lentils into the mushroom mix and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and then spoon mix evenly into the pastry lined tray.

  6. Cover the top of the tray with more puff pastry and fold over the excess and use your fingers to press down and “seal” it. Brush some soy milk (or, if you’re not vegan, a beaten egg) over the top of the pastry to get it all nice and crispy brown.

  7. Put the pie in the oven and keep an eye on it for the next hour, you’ll know when its done.


 Sweet Potato Mash:

  1. Put a large pot on to boil on the stove.

  2. Peel your sweet potato and roughly chop.

  3. Once water is boiling carefully place sweet potato in the pot.

  4. After 10 – 15 minutes test the density of the sweet potato with a fork: if it is soft enough for the fork to push through without any force, it’s done.

  5. Drain into a colander,  place the hot pot on the stove and put the drained potato straight back in, this will help to evaporate any excess water.

  6. Combine the cup of soy milk, 2 Tbsp of olive oil, 2 tsp of cinnamon and salt and pepper before mashing using a potato masher. Serve immediately.


Fennel Salad:

  1. Combine sliced fennel, chopped parsley and the rest of the sliced celery.

  2. Mix the lemon juice, vinegar and ¼ cup of olive oil to make the dressing.

  3. Combine just before serving.



  • Make sure to let the pastry defrost completely and that you’ve greased you pan well, otherwise things won’t be easy for you.

  • This works well for small, muffin-sized pies as well (just look at how cute they turn out!)

  • Always brush the top your pie with either soy milk, butter or beaten eggs to get a nice finish. It’s worth it.

  • Time your preparation right with this one: start with the pie, make the salad while your potatoes and boiling and then mash just as you pull everything out of the oven.

  • Always feel free to add more cinnamon or more soy milk to the mash: different tastes appeal to different people.