This is not a particularly good photo, but the main thing is this is a particularly good pie.
The following certainly qualifies for the category of ‘Recipe Revamps’. This means the recipe has undergone more than an adjustment or a rearrangement of ingredients; it has undergone a complete transformation. I mention this because this is yet another example where Mum starts out with a recipe and then makes so many changes that it doesn’t bear much (if any) resemblance to the original recipe.
In this particular example, we started out with a recipe from a New Zealand Woman’s Weekly magazine called “Best Filo Brunch Tart”. “This will be nice for dinner”, Mum said, then proceeded to change 95% of the recipe. The only things not to change were the filo and onions. Everything else was either deleted, added, or proportions were changed. Mushrooms, feta cheese, garlic, pinenuts, made it into the recipe where they had not been originally.
The resulting pie, or tart, or whatever it was called now, was very tasty and I asked Mum to rename the recipe, since she had essentially made it up. The word ‘spinach’ was in the title for Mum’s recipe and when I said that technically, including the word ‘spinach’ in the title was not strictly accurate as we had used silverbeet, but Mum said – “silverbeet and spinach: it’s much of a muchness”. So here is the recipe with the title Mum gave it, the ingredients we used and the way that Mum put it together.
[I multi-tasked to record this recipe in my notebook: I was stirring ingredients, checking changes to the original recipe, Mum and I were chatting away, the TV was going, plus I was trying to watch what ingredients Mum was adding so I could record it all in my notebook – but in Mum’s Kitchen all of this going on at the same time is pretty standard business – we were probably having a nice red wine too while cooking.]
Then, much later on, I realised that looking at the ingredients, we had actually made a Greek dish, called a Spanakopita, which is a spinach and feta pie (except we added mushrooms to our dish, and we didn’t add in chopped dill). Just to sum up: this could be called – Mushroom, Spinach (Silverbeet), Feta and Filo Tart (Pie) or Spanakopita…. I think I’ll stick to Mum’s title!
MUSHROOM, SPINACH, FETA, AND FILO TART
This is a vegetarian recipe.
We used a 22cm dish.
1 onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic
2 portabello mushrooms
6 tbspns milk
Pepper and salt
100g Silverbeet (or spinach)
100g Feta cheese, chopped into chunks
A handful of Pinenuts, dry roasted
5 sheets of Filo pastry
Melted butter or spray oil
Cook the silverbeet (or spinach). Drain and squeeze out moisture.
Heat oil in a frying pan and cook onions until soft, then add garlic. Add the chopped mushrooms. When mushrooms are cooked, add in the cooked and squeezed silverbeet. Heat this for a while, then turn off heat and let the mixture cool off.
Whisk the eggs, milk, pepper and salt.
Chop feta into chunks.
Dry roast a handful of pinenuts.
Line a 22cm dish with sheets of filo pastry. Brush with butter or spray with oil in betweeen each sheet.
When the onion, garlic, mushroom, spinach mixture has cooled enough, arrange it on the base of the filo pastry. Sprinkle on the diced feta, and pinenuts, then pour on the whisked eggs and milk.
Bake in oven at 170 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes. The pie may need to be covered with baking paper for the last 10 minutes of cooking to stop the filo edges browning.
– Have silverbeet handy in the freezer. Mum always has some available in her freezer that she has picked from the garden, cooked, then frozen and squirreled away for future use. This is much easier and quicker than having to cook fresh silverbeet. Just thaw out and squeeze out any moisture.
– This is an adaptable recipe and depending on the size of the dish it will be cooked in, proportions can be decreased or increased.
– A variation on this recipe would be to add pumpkin (cooked first), to make this a Pumpkin, Spinach, Feta, and Filo Tart.
We enjoyed this dinner with one of my favourite wines from New Zealand:
Peter Yealands Estate, Hawke’s Bay Merlot, 2013.
This is a very earth-friendly wine – the wine is made with sustainable wine-making practices and the winery has carbon zero certification.
Original recipe idea from : New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, issue 24 February, 2014, page 54.