Fridge- or freezer-foraged cheese, onion and parsley pie
This is the kind of recipe (or rather idea) that I used to put on my old blog The Frugal Cook. But as I’ve given up on it (I know - I shouldn’t have done) I’m posting it here.
It stemmed from having bought a massive bunch of parsley in our local French supermarket for 85p about which I subsequently had a lively discussion on Twitter as to whether you could buy the same amount in a UK supermarket for the price. (I still maintain you can’t!)
Anyway having bragged about how much I’d bought I felt obliged to use up as much as possible and decided to create a makeshift supper combining it with some ingredients that had been lurking in the freezer since our last trip to France at Christmas.
Although this is inspired by the Greek pie spanakopitta - not least because I mistakenly thought I had some feta lurking in the freezer - it can basically be made with whatever you have to hand but you basically need some kind of herbs or greens, some kind of onion and some kind of cheese. And pastry of course!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch of new season’s onions (about 300-350g) or a bunch of spring onions or a large sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
a big bunch of flat leaf parsley (about 200g, I’m guessing) or a similar quantity of spinach or other greens, washed and roughly chopped. Include some stalks if they’re not too tough.
About 175g feta or other sheep cheese (I used Manchego and a bit of Cantal). Basically whatever you have in the fridge.
1 egg, beaten
A sheet of ready-rolled or a block of puff pastry, thawed (about 250g although the pack I used was a circular tart base that weighed 230g)
Preheat the over to 220°C. Heat the oil in a frying pan, then add the butter. Once it starts foaming, tip in the chopped onions and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the crushed garlic, stir and take off the heat. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then tip in the chopped parsley or greens and the grated cheese and half the beaten egg. Season with pepper and a little salt, depending how salty the cheese is.
Unroll the pastry onto a floured table or board, rolling it out a little more if you can. Work out how you’re going to make your pastry parcel, spoon the filling onto the middle of the pastry sheet or circle and fold over the sides, brushing the exposed edges with the remaining beaten egg to help it stick together.
Brush the surface of the pie with egg then cut three slits in the top. Bake for about 10-12 minutes then turn the heat down to 190°C and cook for another 10-15 minutes or so until nicely browned. Remove the pie from the oven and rest for 10 minutes then serve with warm steamed asparagus (as I did) or a salad.
What to drink: I think this is more a white wine dish than a red. We drank Picpoul but any other crisp dry white would work. Assyrtiko if you want to keep the Greek theme going.
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