Friday, March 9, 2012

Spinach Pie and Tomato Soup

I accidentally bought two huge 1 lb containers of baby spinach. How does somebody accidentally buy that much spinach? It was at two separate grocery outings, but that's really still no excuse. However it happened, I had a lot of spinach to use and thought a spinach pie might be a nice application. The most exciting part? I made the crust. I have never made a pie crust (that I can recall, anyway). I must say, I was rather pleased with the results. It wasn't the prettiest, and I kind of had to mash some holes back together in the pie pan before I filled it, but it tasted great.

For the crust (mostly from the Mark Bittman book):
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp AP flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick of butter, cut into eight pieces
6 Tbsp ice water (he says 3, but I used 6, and maybe could have used 7)

Put flours, salt and butter into food processor and pulse until it's all incorporated and looks like cornmeal. Put that mixture into a bowl, and add ice water a tbsp at a time until dough can be formed into a ball with your hands. Wrap it in plastic and freeze it for 10 minutes (or refrigerate for 30). Roll the dough out on a floured surface. Press it down into pie pan, and freeze for 30 minutes (or refrigerate for 1 hour).

For the filling:
olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 Tbsp)
8-10 cups spinach (it cooked down to about 11/2 cups. This is why I usually use frozen spinach for dishes that will be cooked. But, a girl can only have so many spinach salads in a week with 2 lbs of fresh spinach).
pinch of crushed red pepper
salt and pepper
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
5 eggs
1/3 cup milk

Rinse the spinach. Saute the garlic in warm olive oil in a medium pan for a minute or two, then add the still wet spinach, red pepper, salt and pepper to a the pot. Cover and cook, tossing occasionally until spinach is wilted down. Remove from heat. When it's cool enough to handle, wrap in a dish towel and wring out excess moisture. Then chop into smaller pieces. Sprinkle into the crust, then top with the cheeses.

Beat together the eggs, milk a little salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over the spinach and cheeses. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes.

While that was baking, I threw together a very simple tomato soup.

Quick Tomato Soup:
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
28 ounces canned tomatoes, diced, no salt added
1 cup vegetable broth
couple splashes sherry vinegar

Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil on med high heat. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Use immersion blender to puree the soup. Mix in a few splashes of sherry vinegar and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

We had this for dinner tonight, but it would be a great lunch or brunch. We'll probably have left over pie for breakfast tomorrow. Pie for breakfast. Yay!

*The simple components of this meal really hit all of the My Plate suggestions. Whole grains in the crust, protein in the eggs, dairy in the cheese and the spinach and tomatoes for veggies and fruit. I used part-skim mozzarella to help keep it a bit lighter. Using a combination of eggs and egg whites would also help lower the calories, fat and cholesterol.

1 comment:

  1. That looks awesome! Good job with the pie crust.