Monday, May 21, 2012

Meatless Monday Recipe. Spinach Pie - of sorts


Serves 6 - Hah! I don't think so! You could stretch it that far if you have a large salad or other vegies to accompany it which I didn't.

Prep time - 15 minutes ... not the way I cook ... I started by wandering outdoors and picking the spinach (or silver beet because that's all I had) peered in the frig wondering which beer would complement the meal best, then poured said beer, (home-brew: Mexican Cerveza for starters) composed and sent an email ... you get the picture.

Cooking time - around an hour from the time it goes into the oven - that would have been more or less accurate if I hadn't changed the recipe. There's the extra 1/2 hour baking the pumpkin first though, so you need to factor that in.

Ingredients -

• Half a large butternut pumpkin (750g) cut into a 2cm dice. I only had 1/2 a golden sweet potato and 1/4 Japanese pumpkin. It was fine. It just needs to be a dense pumpkin, and not one of those watery, airy ones.

• 2/3 cup light olive oil (or vegetable oil) Light!! I don't think so, first cold pressed for me. I used less though.

 • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

 • 1/2 teaspoon salt

 • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

 • 2 brown onions, sliced

 • 2 cloves garlic, chopped ... Only 2! Tut, tut, 4, 6, 8 or so is fine. It depends on how closely you'll be working with people the next day really.

 • 100g baby spinach ... I used more silver beet (Swiss Chard?) because that's what I had. Next time I'd probably double it I think, or even add some parsley or coriander if I didn't have enough other greens.

 • 6 eggs

 • 1 cup self-raising flour ... I used 1/2 wholemeal, 1/2 white. I could have added a spoon of soy for extra oomph.

 • 1 cup grated tasty cheese

 • 250g tub ricotta ... I used 500g because that's what I'd bought and I didn't want any leftovers.

Next time I'd also add some chilli and roasted pine nuts.

1. Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan forced.)
    Grease and flour a 24cm spring form cake tin. (I used kitchen paper and ignored the greasing. I think any sort of pie dish would be fine).

2. Toss the pumpkin cubes with oil, nutmeg, salt and pepper and roast in a baking tray for 30 minutes or until soft and golden brown.

3. In a frypan over a medium heat, saute onions and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil (and the chili if using it). I use a regular saucepan for something like this because it tends to escape messily when you get to the next stage.

4. Take the pan off the heat and toss the spinach through. The spinach will wilt a little. Put the pine nuts in now.

5. In a bowl, beat the 6 eggs. Add the remaining olive oil and mix well. (I forgot to add the extra olive oil, it didn't seem to matter) Add flour and whisk until there are no lumps. (It's quite thick, like a batter, probably because I forgot the extra olive oil and used wholemeal flour.) Stir through the cheese and season with salt and pepper.

6. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and lower the temperature to 180C (160C fan forced). Toss the pumpkin through the onion spinach mixture. The spinach will wilt further.

7. Place half the vegetable mixture in the base of the cake tin and pour half the egg mixture over. Shake the tin to make sure the egg sinks all around the vegetables. Put the other half of the vegetable mixture in and top with the remaining egg mixture and jiggle it to settle.

8. Dollop the ricotta over the top. Using a spoon burrow down a little so that there is some ricotta nestled inside the pie as well... This was a bit of a challenge because I'd decided to double the ricotta. It worked though, and made a lovely deep snowy topping.

9. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and firm in the middle.

Because I'd tinkered with the recipe, it took a lot longer to cook through. At least an hour, possibly more. It eventually became a glorious golden brown and went really well with a bottle of Toohey's Old. This spinach pumpkin ricotta pie would be nice with baked potatoes and coleslaw.

*If you have a child who refuses to eat meatless food, add some bacon or chopped up chorizo sausage when you're cooking the onion

I copied the recipe some time ago, and don't know where it originally came from. 



Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue .. sounds delicious - I make pies like this occasionally if I've got appropriate things around .. cooking for one is slightly different. I do use spinach (Swiss Chard) very often and my favourite is spanokapita .. Greek Spinach and Cheese pie ..

Cheers Hilary

sue said...

Hilary, I'd planned to make spanokapita but found I didn't have any filo pastry, hence this one. I don't think it'd be much of a bother to adapt it for one. Not sure how it'd freeze, but we had it for a couple of nights with different vegies.
enjoy your weekend

baygirl32 said...

that looks yummy! I love pumpkin and ricotta, I like spinach but not cooked

sue said...

Baygirl, at first I did a double take "raw spinach"! then realised I have a lovely recipe for a spinach salad that I could share :)