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Friday, June 14, 2013

Spinach Pie

by Ann

When quiche is available on a restaurant's menu I am often tempted to order it.  It's easy to make but I don't prepare it often at home because my husband isn't a huge fan. (Perhaps he's still remembering what someone said about real men not eating quiche years ago....)

When I saw this recipe in the newspaper for "White House Spinach Pie" being credited to Michelle Obama and her Victory Garden I thought it would be delicious and healthy.  Well, the delicious part was certainly true, but with three quarters of a pound of cheese, a cup of half and half, and a rich pastry dough, I am questioning the healthy concept.  On the other hand, there is a full pound of spinach involved, which is A LOT of vitamin-and-mineral-packed greens.

I have never combined feta and Swiss cheese in a quiche before, so was intrigued to try it out.  The feta definitely came through, as did the lemon zest giving it a bright, fresh flavor.  The recipe did not call for pre-baking the pie shell, which seems wrong to me.  Who wants a soggy crust?  I took the liberty to change that, and the steps to pre-bake a crust can be seen in my January 8 post (click here to see).


Since we're discussing pie crusts, I want to reiterate something I said in the above mentioned previous post.  If you buy refrigerated pie crust, do NOT cheap-out (as I learned the hard way) and buy the store brand.  Pillsbury's formula is somehow far superior to the generic versions.

The steps to make the Spinach Pie are the same as a quiche.  The spinach must be wilted and any excess moisture removed before the remaining ingredients are added.
Pictured above is only about half of the spinach.  I had to do it in two "rounds" to get the full pound cooked.


Pictured here is the feta cheese added to the spinach that has been squeezed dry with paper towels.  Be sure that the spinach is cool enough that the cheese doesn't melt.  I used a very large frying pan in which to add all ingredients together.


Half of the Swiss cheese is sprinkled on the top of the mixture; the other half is blended in.
Bake until the middle is not longer "giggly."


White House Spinach Pie

Ingredients:

1 9-inch pie shell, partially baked

2 T olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound fresh, washed spinach
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 large eggs, beaten
1 c half and half (or you can use whole or 2% milk)
1 t grated lemon zest
1 t fresh chopped thyme leaves (or ¼ t dried)
4-6 oz feta cheese
8 oz swiss cheese, grated

Directions:

Partially bake the piecrust according to package directions with the pie plate placed on a cookie sheet.  (450 degrees for 10 minutes if using Pillsbury.  Be sure to use pie weights to avoid having the bottom puff up during this process.)

While shell is prebaking, in a large skillet, drizzle the olive oil and heat on medium until heated.  Add the garlic and onion and saut√© until translucent (5-7 minutes), making sure that the garlic does not burn.

Add spinach, a little at a time and cook until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper; set aside to cool slightly.

Take the pie shell out of the oven and turn the temperature down to 375.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and half and half; add lemon zest and thyme.  Add cooled spinach mixture, feta and half of the Swiss cheese, and mix until well combined.  Taste to see if additional salt or pepper needs to be added.

Pour carefully into prepared crust and sprinkle remaining Swiss cheese on top.

Bake for 40 minutes until the center is set.  Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Delicious any time of the day!

11 comments:

  1. Just printed this recipe, it sounds great! Rhank you for sharing it.

    Annette
    Lady of Style

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    Replies
    1. It is good. The original version called for 6 oz of feta, and the pkg. I bought only had four, which I think was plenty!

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  2. This sounds like a great new quiche recipe. Looking forward to trying it -thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Don't consider leaving out the lemon zest. I wondered if it would make any difference at all, and it really adds to the flavor.

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for checking in, and reading our blog! This recipe is a keeper. Hope you find time to make it.

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  4. Ooohhh...looks delish! Healthy too!!! Will give it a try.

    xo,
    Janise
    http://MamaInHeels.com

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    Replies
    1. I think if you traded out the half and half for milk it would be even more nutritious, but sometimes the splurge is worth it! Hope you like it.

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  5. Ooooh, this looks yummy! Funny about the real men don't eat quiche. Years ago, about 30 years, I went to my husband's {then new boyfriend} family reunion, and I took a couple of quiches. And there were all these jokes about real men don't eat quiche. I was worried that no one would eat my quiche, but turns out it was the first dish to get completely eaten. I think if you eat quiche in moderation, keeping the half and half in it is okay. It really would add to the taste factor.

    Sue xo

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  6. Looks so yummy! How did you make sure that you drained all the water out of the spinach?

    Thank you,


    Brooke

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