Monday, 26 January 2015

Spinach and 3 Cheese Pie

Years ago when Mr Pickings and I first met we were both vegetarian as were many of our friends.  After about 10 years, we succumbed to the lure of meat, though he will often choose the vego option when we are out, and we often cook meatless meals at home.  I am teetering on the edge of becoming vego again as I feel so damn guilty about all those animals dying just for me to eat them.  I can never forget that ad about the little pig where they tell you the pig has the intellect of a three-year-old child, and is in the cold, dark piggery without its mum.  Oohh that gives me the shivers.
As you may have guessed this is a vegetarian recipe today!  One of my favourite cookbooks is by Tess Mallos - The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook. I have had it for years and it is very scruffy and well used.  This recipe is inspired by one of hers but is not exact.  You have to go with what is in your cupboard and fridge!  And what I had was some spinach and ricotta and leftover fetta.  The weather has been very strange in Brisbane lately and we have been inundated with rain over the last few days. There has been flash flooding all over the place and the local creek decided to go mad and burst its banks, swamping the footpath next to it. So it has been grey and even a bit cool so I thought pie why not pie?  I have that song from the film Michael with John Travolta running in my head!   You know the scene where Andie McDowell sings - "pie pie pie! I love pie!"  Yep that's the one and it's really hard to get out of your head once you've heard it:). So here we have it - spinach and cheese pie for a grey and rainy day in (usually) sunny ol' Brisbane.


1-2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
350g. baby spinach leaves
salt and pepper to taste
250g. of ricotta
100g. of fetta cheese
80g. grated tasty cheese
3 eggs - lightly beaten
nutmeg to taste (optional)
salt and pepper
50g. pine nuts (I only had walnuts to hand but I think pine nuts go better in this)
1 sheet ready-made shortcrust pastry
1 sheet ready-made puff pastry
2 tbs cornflake crumbs
milk to glaze the pastry
sesame seeds to sprinkle over the pie (optional)


Heat the oil in a large frypan
Toss in the onion and fry gently for about 5 minutes still going opaque and soft
Add the garlic and keep stirring till all golden and fragrant
Throw in the spinach leaves
Stir now and then till the spinach wilts down
Add the salt and pepper and nutmeg - I gave my nutmeg mill a few twirls!
Allow to cool
Once cooled down, place the mixture into a large bowl
Beat the eggs into the ricotta till you have a smooth-ish mix
Add the 2 cheeses, and the ricotta/egg mix into the large bowl with the spinach mix
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Stir in the pine nuts
Take your lightly greased pie dish and place the shortcrust pastry in it
Scatter the cornflake crumbs over the base
Place the dish into a pre-heated 190C oven and bake for 10 minutes
Take it out and allow to cool for 5-10 mins.
Then spoon the spinach and cheeses mixture into the pie dish
Cover the top with the puff pastry sheet
Neaten the edges of the pie and brush milk over the top
Slash it a few times to get an air-vent
Throw on those sesame seeds if using
Bake for about 30-35 mins. till golden
Cool for a few minutes and eat!

yes there was another egg lurking there

Mr Pickings doing some expert chopping 

see how clever he is:) 

wilting down the spinach- they just disappear! 

stir the eggs and ricotta together 

place everything into a large mixing bowl

eek!  it looks a wee bit disgusting, and this night-time shot isn't doing me any favours:) 

lay the pastry into the pie dish and sprinkle on the cornflake crumbs.  you guessed it! more falconware.

pouring in the mixture; yep you are right - it does look like vomit  

pie all baked!

nice with salad or steamed vegies 

As my bung knee is still "bung", Mr Pickings did the chopping so I didn't have to stand up too much. Being a designer, he has an eye for detail as you can see with his beautifully chopped onion!  Photos were taken while I was hopping around so please just ignore the shadows and general dodginess!   You can see my nutmeg mill snuck into the photos. I found some hmm hmm perhaps quite old whole nutmegs in the pantry, so used them rather than dodgy old ground nutmeg.  I suggest you be careful with the nutmeg as it can be overpowering; give it a twist or 2, and go on from there.

File:Fresh nutmeg in Zanzibar (Tanzania).JPG
(stock image of whole nutmeg  Author Baptiste Vauchelle)  


  1. I'm such a big fan of these cheese and spinach pies!

    1. hi lorraine
      they are rather delish i think! and all that greenery must be good for you:)

  2. Who am I to say no to lots of cheese? This pie looks absolutely delicious :D

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. hi CCU
      so true. you just can't say no to cheese glorious cheese. thanks for dropping by.

  3. I have never seen a nutmeg in its natural state before, such a beautiful colour! And as for the pie. Spanakopita is one of my favourite Greek foods. I worked around the corner from a Greek Deli in London and must have had it for lunch at least thrice a week! :D

  4. I always wonder when I see things like whole nutmegs or cocoa pods or vanilla beans how on earth someone decided to use it as a food! Clever people. There is something about spinach when added to cheese it is just so delicious:)

  5. what a delicious pie.. i love to try out recipe.

    1. It is a yummy pie and good for you too! Thanks for visiting.

  6. I bet this is so tasty, I think even my lot would eat it

    1. hi zena
      all that calcium and greens must be good for you:) and it was tasty too. thanks for visiting.

  7. This looks and sounds delicious!


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