Greek Greens Pie with Cornmeal Crust in the NY Times last week, I was inspired to give spinach pie another try at home.
This version uses a combination of spinach, kale, and parsley with a cornmeal crust that will remind you of polenta. The crust takes much less time to prepare than phyllo dough and adds great flavor to the pie. This is a great dish to make when you're having people over for dinner - it takes a bit of time, but you can make it in advance and serve it at room temperature with a big Greek salad and perhaps some grilled chicken breasts.
Spinach & Kale Polenta Pie - 6-8 servings
Inspired by Ina Garten's Spinach Pie and Martha Rose Shulman's Greek Greens Pie With Cornmeal Crust
1 bunch of kale (about 1 pound), washed, with stems removed and set aside
3 cups (or more) fresh baby spinach, washed
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 leek, washed and chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, washed and minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1.5 oz. Parmesan, freshly grated
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk, soy milk, or almond milk
1.5 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
(Optional) 1 oz. Parmesan, freshly grated
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a pie dish with cooking spray.
1. Steam the kale and spinach. If you have a steamer, you can use that to steam the greens, but if not, you can easily create your own steamer using a colander and pot of simmering water. I just cover the colander with aluminum foil and put the top of the pot over it to create a seal.
2. Chop the kale stems and set aside with the chopped onion and leek.
3. Heat a medium nonstick pan over medium heat. Add about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the onions, leeks, and chopped kale stems to the pan, add a pinch of salt, and sauté the vegetables for about 6-8 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Turn the heat off and allow the mixture to cool down.
5. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and water over medium high heat. When the liquid is hot and starting to form bubbles around the edge of the pan (before it starts to boil), slowly add in the cornmeal in a stream, whisking the mixture to prevent lumps from forming. If the mixture gets too thick to continue stirring with a whisk, switch to a spatula.
6. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, add about half of it to the prepared pie dish, pressing the crust out to the edges with your hands (getting your hands wet first makes this much easier).
9. Bake the pie at 375 degrees for about 1 hour, until the crust is cooked through and the filling is set. The edges will start to brown.
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat chilled slices in the oven at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until the filling is warm.
Serving Size 175 g