Friday, January 13, 2012

Leek and Spinach Pie in a Savory Herbal Crust

                                                           This savory pie makes use of frozen leeks and dried tomatoes, and the herbal pie crust shown in a previous post. In the summer months, by all means use fresh vegetables, but in the dead of winter you can rely on your frozen foods. The colors and aromas of this pie will warm your heart!
I begin by pouring out about 3/4 cup of frozen leeks and 1/2 cup of frozen dried tomatoes into a colander to thaw. If I am using a frozen pie shell, that comes out to thaw at this point as well.  While these things are thawing, I will prepare my other vegetables.   
 We grow spicy greens in our solar greenhouse all winter, so I will chop some of them to add to the pie. Feel free to substitute whatever colorful vegetables you have on hand. 

Since I'm using frozen foods, I begin by putting them in a pan with no oil, because the oil and water will splatter when heated. I will watch very closely while I heat the vegetables on medium heat: I want to complete the thawing process and evaporate all excess water. 

When vegetables are all looking soft, and water is nearly gone, I will add some butter or cooking oil and throw in the chopped greens and some chopped garlic. Stand back, stir constantly, and watch out for splatters.  This is a good time to season with salt and pepper and any favorite herb, such as basil or oregano. 

 When the greens are wilted, I'll add all the vegetables to my freshly made or thawed pie crust.  To make the filling, beat 4 eggs with 1/2 to one cup milk or half and half.  Pour the filling over the vegetables and sprinkle with one cup of grated Jack or cheddar cheese. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg or paprika over all and bake at 350 degrees  for 45 minutes.  Bake right on a cookie sheet, to make it easier to handle and to catch any drips.When fully cooked, the center of the pie should look solid, not runny.  If you're not sure if it's done, put it back in for another 10 minutes.

 Crust should be lightly browned.  Allow to cool a bit before serving.
As usual in my tutorials, this is a basic framework for how to build a vegetable pie.  I encourage you to use what you have on hand and have fun.  I recently read a quote about quiche pie: that it was not invented to be a measure of one's manhood.  It was invented to use up leftovers  :-)


kygal said...

This looks great and quite easy...I'll definitely be trying this!


Nichole said...

Hi Jane! I've given you the Liebster Blog Award :)