Time to make: 1 hour, 10 minutes.
This is a vegetarian pie, (but cooked bacon could be added).
This recipe freezes well.
The recipe is from the Healthy Food Guide magazine, March 2014 issue, page 59.
Mum and I followed the bulk of the recipe as it was written. But, having said that, Mum always deviates from a written recipe somewhere along the way, which makes my note taking difficult at times. The pie turned out to taste very nice, and I would definitely make it again, so it makes sense to write the recipe as we made it including the changes and any additions that we would make in the future. Mum said she doesn’t mind eating vegetarian when it tastes so good! This pie, with the silver beet, ricotta, onion, garlic, and eggs, is a bit like cannelloni in pie form, but the added mint and lemon zest add a great flavour combination and this is even more apparent the day after the pie is made when the flavours have had a chance to blend. The mint and lemon add a nice surprise ‘zing’ of flavour and add a flavour balance throughout the pie.
Silver beet, Ricotta and Broccoli Pie
300g broccoli, trimmed, cut in florets
1 large bunch silver beet, stems removed, leaves washed, shredded, and boiled. OR 200g frozen silver beet
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
60g feta cheese, crumbled
250g ricotta cheese
¼ cup pinenuts, toasted
2 eggs, whisked
salt and pepper
6 sheets filo pastry, plus half a sheet for decoration
1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and immerse broccoli to blanch until just tender. Refresh under cold running water, drain well, roughly chop and set aside.
2. Place a large pot over a high heat. Add silver beet and cook. Transfer silver beet to a bowl and leave to cool.
3. Add oil to a frying pan and set over a medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 more minute.
4. Squeeze excess water from silver beet and place in a large bowl with broccoli, onion mixture, herbs, lemon zest, pinenuts, feta, ricotta and eggs. Stir to thoroughly mix and season with black pepper and salt. (If the pie filling seems too watery after this process, add 1-2 tablespoons of flour before baking.)
5. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius Spray a 25 x 21cm rectangular baking tin with a light coating of oil. Spray 1 filo sheet lightly with oil, fold in half and use to line base of baking tin. Repeat with 2 more filo sheets. Try to get an even layering and coverage of filo on the base of the tin. If the filo is thinner in places due to the size of the tin, add a strip more of filo. The filo should also come up the sides of the tin so the pie filling is encased.
6. Spoon filling into tin and smooth surface.
7. Spray another filo sheet with a light coating of oil, fold in half and use to line top of pie. Repeat process with 2 filo sheets. Use a half piece of filo and scrunch, or tear it to make a random pattern on the top of the pie. Spray top of pastry lightly with oil.
8. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Near the end of the cooking time, place the pie lower in the oven to make sure the base is cooked.
The finished pie:
CHANGES WE MADE TO THE RECIPE (these are all noted in the recipe above) :
The recipe did not include pinenuts, but Mum and I agreed that next time we would add ¼ cup of toasted pinenuts into the pie mixture, as it would be a complimentary flavour with the lemon, mint and silver beet.
We had frozen silver beet that Mum had taken from her garden, boiled and then frozen in packets. Preparing the Silver beet like this cuts down on preparation time. We squeezed as much juice out of the reheated Silver beet as possible, so the pie base would not go soggy. This was 200g frozen and came out to 110g when the excess water was removed.
We whisked the eggs before adding to the mixture rather than mixing them in whole.
The original recipe called for a 26 x 16cm tin, but this looked too small to hold the amount of mixture we had. We used a 25 x 21 cm tin which was 5 ½ cm deep.
We scrunched and tore an extra half piece of filo pastry over the top of the pie to give a flaky, crinkly effect (see photo).
Near the end of the cooking time, we placed the pie lower in the oven to make sure the base would be cooked.
We left out “1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus an extra tablespoon to serve”, as we didn’t have any dill. If adding this into the recipe, the chopped dill is added in step 4 along with all the ingredients, and the remaining dill is added to the finished pie as decoration.