OUT OF THE OFFICE

Travel + Food Blog

SPINACH, CHEESE & LEMON PIE

WITH

GARLIC BUTTER VEGETABLES

Photo by Belinda- www.outoftheoffice.com.au

Photo by Belinda- www.outoftheoffice.com.au

SPINACH, CHEESE & LEMON PIE

I LOVE sharing tried & tested recipes that are on regular rotation throughout our household. I often try fancy new recipes and end up being severely underwhelmed (does this happen to you a lot too?!). Not only does it cost a small fortune to buy the 197 ingredients & test them, it often takes up valuable time I could have been- I don't know- eating chocolate? Browsing pinterest? SHOPPING ONLINE.

I find Donna Hay and Jaime Oliver recipes consistently good. I have never had a massive failure with either (well....that directly had to do with the recipe anyway- let's just brush over my issue with timing and ovens). 

This spinach, cheese and lemon pie recipe is a goodin'. A good egg, if you will. As you have probably cottoned on, we don't eat much meat in our neck of the woods. Seafood- YES // Red meat- NO // Chicken- Occasionally. Don't judge, I know it sounds boring- but we eat pretty well around here and I feel a lot better cutting out the meat in my diet.

This is a recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver's Spinach Pie. We normally team it with garlicky buttery vegetables in winter and a fresh salad in summer. The leftovers would be great in lunch boxes, served at room temperature. It's healthy, filling, economical and can easily feed a family of 6. It's not exactly easy (or hard either for that matter- it falls somewhere in between!) - but it should be on the table within 30-40 minutes, depending on if you take wine breaks. It's delicious too, lets not forget that.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 100g (3½oz) pine nuts
  • 5 free range or organic eggs
  • 300g (10½oz) feta cheese
  • 50g (1¾oz)
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Dried oregano
  • 1 lemon
  • A knob of butter
  • 400g (14oz) pre-washed baby spinach
  • 1 x 270g pack of filo pastry (we use a low fat one)
  • Cayenne pepper 
  • 1 whole nutmeg

TO START:  Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Turn the oven on to 200C/ gas 6. Put a medium (approx 26cm/10½in diameter) ovenproof frying pan on a medium heat. Put the standard blade attachment in the food processor.

SPINACH & FETA PIE:   Put the pinenuts into the dry ovenproof frying pan to toast, tossing occasionally. Keep an eye on them. Crack 5 eggs into a mixing bowl and crumble in 300g (10½oz) feta. Grate in the Cheddar.

Add a pinch of pepper, a couple of pinches of dried oregano, zest of 1 lemon and a glug of olive oil. Once the nuts are light golden, add them to the egg mixture and mix well.

Put the empty frying pan back on the heat, add a little olive oil and a knob of butter and pile in half of the spinach. Gently push and move it around and add more as it wilts down. Make sure it doesn't catch on the bottom and, when there's room, start adding the rest, stirring frequently. *We sometimes add in an onion if we have one lying around. Either way is delicious.

Meanwhile, take the pastry out of the fridge.

Lay a large sheet of greaseproof paper, approx 50cm (20in) long, on the worktop, rub a little olive oil all over it, then scrunch it up and lay it out flat again. Arrange 4 filo pastry sheets in a large rectangle, overlapping at the edges, so they almost cover the paper. Rub some olive oil over them. Sprinkle over a good pinch of salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Repeat until you have 3 layers. Don't worry about any cracked bits. Remember to keep stirring the spinach.

Once the spinach is really nice and dense, take the pan off the heat. Add the wilted spinach to the egg mixture and grate in ½ a nutmeg. Mix well. Carefully move the greaseproof paper and filo into the empty frying pan so the edges spill over. Push it down into the sides of the pan, then pour in the egg mixture and spread it out. Fold the filo sheets over the top and let them fall where they will (for more help go to www. jamieoliver.com/how-to-filo-pie).

Put the pan back on a medium heat for a couple of minutes to get the bottom cooking, then put the pan into the oven on the top shelf to cook for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

GARLIC VEGETABLES

We make our own garlic butter for our vegetables (or garlic bread, or to dob on top of pasta!). This time for our side dish, we used baby/dutch carrots, asparagus with almond flakes & lemon, and peas with crumbled feta (you can also add fresh mint leaves to the peas). This garlic butter would suit any vegetable though- especially baked potatoes!

GARLIC BUTTER RECIPE

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt 

All photos by Belinda- www.outoftheoffice.com.au

Photo by Belinda- www.outoftheoffice.com.au

Photo by Belinda- www.outoftheoffice.com.au