Farmers' market spinach pie with portobello mushrooms [Vegetarian]
Talk about a healthy casserole dish! This is perfect for when the stalls at farmers' market are overflowing with summer greens like spinach.
For bakes like this I generally like to use skim ricotta, as this recipe calls for, or cottage cheese. Because I wanted to keep this as healthy as possible, I used a low-fat cottage cheese and skipped the Parmesan. The cheese worked great to bind the ingredients together without adding a lot of fat or oil.
When I pulled this from the oven, I let it cool for a few minutes in the pan, then gently scraped around the edges and transferred it to a wire rack with a paper towel placed underneath. This allowed the extra moisture from the spinach to drip away while it cooled, so that it didn't get too watery on the bottom. This keeps not only the first helping from being soggy but also helps the leftovers last better. Even when we wrapped leftovers in foil and put them in the oven to reheat, there was plenty of moisture and the pie slices were practically steamed instead of baked.
When we ate the leftovers, I also caramelized some shallots and topped the spinach pie slices it with those. It was fantastic! So next time I bake this I'm going to grill or caramelize some onions or shallots to add into the mixture before it goes in the oven. It makes quite a wonderful difference, so perhaps give it a try the first time you bake this.
More on The Cooking Project.
We were spending the weekend with old friends and although we all enjoy cooking and expected to do a lot of it over the three days we were together, I wanted to take something that was ready to eat when we arrived. I had lots of spinach from the farmers' market left over from my spinach eggdrop soup, so I made a spinach pie that we could eat warm or at room temperature.
I used fresh herbs and the spring flavours really jumped out. You could serve it as an appetizer, as part of a buffet, or add a salad and have it as a light lunch or dinner. This travelled well and would be a great dish to take to a pot luck or a picnic. I do have to admit that it wasn't the most beautiful thing I've ever made and one of our group had to be convinced by everyone else's positive comments to give it a try. I thought it was delicious, and it was also tremendously easy to make, so I'll do this again.
This recipe is from SOS! The Six O'Clock Scramble to the Rescue by Aviva Goldfarb.
Spinach Pie with Portobello Mushrooms
1 bunch spinach, chopped
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup portobello, cremini or button mushrooms, chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano, or 1 1/2 tsp fresh
1/2 tsp dried basil, or 1 tbsp fresh
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Pour the mixture into a pie dish.
2. Bake it for 30 to 35 minutes until it is lightly browned and set. Let the pie cool slightly before cutting and serving it, or refrigerate it for up to 2 days.