Monday, July 6, 2009

Green Pie

It's the time of year when gardeners have plenty (that may be an understatement) of greens growing rampantly. Doesn't seem right that we can't consume more of them when come January we'd give our eye teeth to have a colander full of fresh greens.

Following is a recipe I've made for years that gets a huge bunch of greens into your family (and out of the garden) without them even realizing it. You can make it with young comfrey or kale, but our favorite is either spinach or Swiss chard. I think I like Swiss chard maybe the best, but that's just my personal preference.

Recently I took my big harvesting/canning colander and went to pick some spinach. (I used spinach because it really needed cutting and my Swiss chard is still at the baby leaf stage.) How much do you need for this recipe? I was afraid you were going to ask that. I truly don't have an accurate measurement but maybe this photo will help.

I nearly fill my big colander . . . you can see how big it is in comparison to a regular sized one. It might look like a lot for one pie (casserole, really) but remember how greens cook down.

Then chop up the greens (the pieces don't have to be small or even in size). All of the spinach leaves fit into this average sized stainless steel mixing bowl when they are chopped.

Get out your biggest skillet. Melt 1/4 cup butter in it and saute one large chopped onion for a few minutes. (Chopped garlic is also VERY good sauteed with the onions.)

Then add the chopped spinach and stir it up with the butter and onions. (This is where your big skillet comes in handy. Before the greens cook down a little, there is a huge pile of them and trying to stir and turn them at first causes pieces to fly all over the stove top, counter and floor.)

Do this until the spinach is wilted a bit. It will take only a couple of minutes. The greens do not have to be cooked through at all.

Put half of the wilted spinach and onion mixture in a pie plate.

Then add some grated cheese (a nice covering) on top of the spinach. What kind of cheese to use? What kind do you like? I made this Green Pie one half cheddar and one half mozzarella just because I was feeling adventuresome . I have some really good pepper jack cheese that I'm going to try later in the week. Use whatever you have and whatever you like. Give a good sprinkle of black pepper and garlic salt on top of the cheese.

Then add the last half of the spinach and onion mixture from the skillet.

Now beat two eggs in a small bowl, pour over ingredients in pie plate and smooth around with a fork to distribute kinda evenly.

Finish off with one more layer of grated cheese and one more sprinkle of pepper and garlic salt.

Put into pre-heated oven to bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Unless dinner time is way overdue and you're facing mass rebellion from your troops, let the pie sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. If you can't wait, it might be a smidge bit watery, but no big deal.

I best like to serve Green Pie with Creamy Cucumbers but since there ain't no cucs comin' outta my garden yet, I served buttered corn as a good alternative. A little salsa on the side is nice, too. We like Green Pie cold (or room temp) for breakfast or lunch the next day, if there's any left over.

So get thee out to the garden and rassle up a passel of greens for a Green Pie for dinner soon. It's a dish you can only make with fresh greens so now's the time to enjoy it.


Fiona said...

This looks so yummy! I wonder if my kids will eat it? There's a lot of green in there but gooey cheese always makes things better in their book. But then again, if they don't, there's more for me!

Thanks for sharing :)

Chicken Mama said...

Green (comfrey) pie. Is. Awful.






I was force-fed it as a child. Strapped down. Mouth wired open.

Fiona, if you want your children to love you in 30 years, DON'T make it. It will only cause YEARS of therapy.

;) Mama's Pea's ever-lovin' daugher.

Mama Pea said...

Fiona - You're welcome! The name "Green Pie" will either be so funny to them that they'll readily try it or else it will turn them off before the first forkful!

Mama Pea said...

Chicken Mama - Well, I guess that's one vote for not using comfrey . . .

RuthieJ said...

Oh Mama Pea, that looks so good! I can still plant spinach later this summer, can't I? I would love to try that recipe.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Ruthie - I think (down in the Banana Belt where you are) I'd wait until maybe September 1st to plant your spinach. It's cool weather loving so you'd probably get a nice fall crop from it that way.

Heidi said...

Thank you Mama Pea! We made this for dinner this evening and it was so good. It is definitely a keeper.

Mama Pea said...

Hello, Heidi - So good to hear from you again!

Glad you like the Green Pie. It's been a "summer staple" in our house for about 30 years!

Our spinach is done now but I'll be making it with Swiss chard way into fall. Roy loves it leftover for breakfast the next morning. (Easy breakfast making for me!)

Thanks for taking the time to comment on it.

I think of you often.