This is more or less my signature dish. I make it for church feasts (in double quantity) and for veggy days at home, more often now that we have only Secunda here; Tertia doesn’t care for cooked spinach and Prima detests it. If it’s Friday rather than Wednesday, I make a little bell-pepper and goat cheese pie for Tertia, recipe at the end.
I’ll post it on the Purplish Cooking Pages one of these days too, but that’s more work and I also want to wait until we have it again and I can take a decent photo.
Can be made from the larder and the freezer, provided the larder contains eggs and cheese.
1 package (450g) coarse-cut frozen spinach
150g strong Dutch-type cheese, or possibly Cheddar, grated
6 eggs (2 separated, 4 hard-boiled and peeled)
fresh basil (optional)
7 squares frozen puff pastry (if yours is a different shape, enough for a medium-sized closed pie)
about 1 tbsp dry breadcrumbs
Thaw the pastry. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C with convection).
Put the spinach in a pan and thaw on medium heat. Don’t cook any further, but put it in a sieve and press out as much moisture as possible. Mix in cheese, egg yolks, pepper and basil. Beat the egg whites to the soft-peak stage and mix those in too, carefully. (It’s not a souffle, but you do want some lightness and lift.)
Butter a 20cm spring mold or a fairly deep glass or earthenware dish and line it with 5 squares of pastry, trimming the excess and using that to close the gaps. If you have some left over you can use it in the lid. Sprinkle the bottom with breadcrumbs.
Spoon about 1/3 of the spinach mixture into the case, arrange the hard-boiled eggs on it and fill up with the rest of the spinach. Close the case with the rest of the pastry.
Bake about 40-45 minutes until risen and golden brown. Eat hot or cold (or even lukewarm, as Secunda did when she came home late and hungry). Serves 3-4 as a main meal, 6 for lunch, 8-10 as a snack.
Bell pepper and goat cheese pie
1 bell pepper, or parts of different coloured bell peppers
70g soft white goat cheese
black pepper, paprika, cayenne (optional)
2 squares puff pastry
about 1 tsp dry breadcrumbs
Cut the bell pepper into bite-size pieces and dunk it in boiling water for a moment, then drain. This keeps it from shedding a lot of water when baking.
Beat the egg, crumble in the goat cheese and beat until almost smooth. Season with pepper and paprika (and if it’s for anyone else than Tertia, cayenne).
Butter a small dish and line with one square of pastry. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Fill with bell-pepper pieces and pour the egg-and-cheese mixture over. Close with the other square of pastry.
Put it in the oven with the spinach pie. Serves 1 generously. Leftovers are also nice cold.