Thursday, October 24, 2013

Spinach Pie and Tomato/Onion Salad

Crap photo, great pies.

This recipe makes a huge batch. That works fine for us, as we enjoy leftovers (I like to cook and get it over with). If you prefer variety in your diet, the recipe may be halved.

I made these in individual pies as they travel better for lunches. You can however, layer it into one or two large rectangular pies that you serve cut in squares. I also opted for clarified butter, though the phyllo can be brushed with olive oil if you prefer. I'm not a cook that insists on following the recipe exactly. I don't use garlic in my spinach pie, but some people do. I use scallions here some people would use shallots. I used frozen spinach, but fresh would work too. I think you get the idea.

You Will Need:

1 box frozen Phyllo (it should have two rolls in the packet-you'll need both if not halving) thawed
1/2 cup clarified butter, melted (you won't need it all, but better to have it) or olive oil for brushing
3 blocks frozen, chopped spinach, cooked, drained, and squeezed dry
1 lb. cottage cheese drained through a sieve overnight, then forced through the sieve until smooth
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
2 ounces parmesan cheese, crated
1 bunch scallions, chopped fine
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt/Pepper to taste
3 large eggs

Combine everything except phyllo and butter in a large bowl and mix very well. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and grease a baking sheet. Work with one roll of phyllo at a time, and keep it covered with a damp cloth to prevent it drying out as you go.

To make individual pies:

Cut sheets in half. Brush a sheet lightly with butter, and top with another sheet. You need about 5, but you could do more (no more than 8). Don't soak it with butter, but make sure to brush the edges so it won't dry out. Place a dollop of filling in the centre. Carefully fold over into a triangle trimming anyway any excess. Fold up edges. Brush top and edge generously with butter. Pierce the top with a sharp knife. Repeat until you have a full tray (you can make the rest as the others bake).

Bake about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on racks. These are best served at room temperature.

To make a large pie:

Do about 5 sheets of the full-sized phyllo for the bottom. Spread on the filling. Top with an equal number of sheets. Fold up edges, brush with butter, pierce and bake. This will take longer. You can also do this in a greased, rectangular pan, just make sure to tuck the top layers down the sides as you go. It is also nice to crumble a few sheets for the top, and brush them with butter-it makes an attractive pie.

Tomato/Onion Salad:

3-4 ripe tomatoes, cut into 8ths.
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, stemmed
(about) 8 olives (I used Kalamata, but any you like will do)
1 small onion, sliced as thinly as possible
1 tablespoon dried chervil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 small jar pickled artichoke hearts
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

Set your tomatoes, olives, onion, and drained artichoke hearts in a bowl. In a measuring cup, combine the thyme, chervil, sugar, vinegar, oil, and salt/pepper. Mix well. Pour over the tomato/onion mixture and let sit, covered in the fridge several hours before serving. Bring it to room temperature, and serve it over crisp, cold lettuce.

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