Friday, April 4, 2014

Spinach Custard Pie

This recipe was one of those little magazine clippings that tends to float around my “make it now” files for quite a long time. It’s virtually season-less, since it’s based on frozen spinach, so I kept shifting it from one month to the next until I finally decided I’d better try it or get rid of it already.

This dish is fairly simple. It’s mostly spinach and eggs with a little cheese. Okay, so it’s mostly spinach. Really. There’s a lot of spinach in this pie. And I suppose it’s not really a pie, since it doesn’t have a crust of any kind. I did make it in a pie plate, but I think you could make it in just about any small baking dish.

Even though there’s more spinach than anything in this, it holds together very nicely. The pie cut well into wedges and could be served that way without falling apart. I think you could cut it into squares if you use a different dish or cut it into very small squares to serve as appetizers.

I feel like I better tell you one more time that there’s really a lot of spinach in this casserole/pie/whatever. If you don’t like spinach, you probably won’t like this dish. On the other hand, if you do like spinach, this is delicious and satisfying. I liked the addition of a little feta cheese (it wasn’t in the original recipe) along with the Parmesan. I also sprinkled in a bit of freshly grated nutmeg, which somehow enhances spinach dishes. Overall, the rest of the ingredients serve to compliment the spinach rather than overwhelm or hide it.

I wasn’t sure whether Spinach Custard Pie was exciting enough to talk about here, but not everything needs to be a revelation, I thought. A solid, weeknight recipe is a good addition to The Messy Apron archives. Things did get a little more exciting the next day, however, when I learned just how fabulous this is as leftovers. It lost nothing in texture or flavor when I stuck a wedge in my lunch box and heated it up at work. A weeknight/brown bag powerhouse for a family of 2 indeed!!

Spinach Custard Pie
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup chopped onion
½ teaspoon salt, divided
3 large eggs
8 ounces sour cream (I used reduced-fat)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup very finely chopped feta cheese
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray (or grease it using your preferred method.) Set aside.

2. Squeeze as much water from the thawed spinach as you can. Set aside.

3. In a medium-size skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook 5-8 minutes or until the onion is soft and just beginning to brown. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

4. In a medium-size bowl, beat the eggs. Mix in the sour cream. Add the spinach and onions and stir well. Stir in the remaining ingredients, including the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.

5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pie pan. Spread evenly. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes or until the center of the pie is set. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve.

Makes 4-6 servings. Leftovers reheat nicely.

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