We have three silverbeet (or chard) “tree’s” growing in our garden. Slowly over the past few months we’ve been eating them leaf by leaf, but with the warmer weather and a bit of rain they’ve gone tropo and are almost as tall as our back fence. I’ve been hunting through cookbooks looking for recipes, but most tend to use the white stalks and recommend keeping the green leafy bits for soup.
I found a recipe for a spinach pie and have modified it to half spinach, half silverbeet. Considering how tragic my experiments have been over the last few weeks, this turned out spectacularly. I used to have a theory that all mothers were great cooks – the act of giving birth bestowing you with magical culinary skill. Now that I am a mother my ability to cook seems to be slipping, blowing that theory out of the water. Perhaps when I start to sleep again the magic will appear.
1 bunch of silverbeet
2 small bunches of English spinach
1/3 cup finely chopped spring onions
1 tsp dill seeds
1 tsp oregano leaves
250g cottage cheese
250g feta cheese, crumbled
3 eggs, beaten lightly
375g block puff pastry (or 2 sheets ready-rolled butter puff pastry), thawed
1 egg, beaten lightly, extra
Preheat the oven to 220°C and grease a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan. Line the pan with half the pastry.
Remove the stalks from the silverbeet and wash the leaves. I roll them up into logs and then slice them finely and drop them into a pan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Add English spinach to the pan, return to the boil then drain. Cool and squeeze out excess water – it needs to be really dry or the pastry will go soggy, so wrap it in a teatowel and give it an extra squeeze to get rid of all the water.
Combine spinach, silverbeet, spring onions, spice mix, cottage cheese, feta, and eggs in a bowl and pour mixture into pastry and spread evenly. Cover with remaining pastry and pinch the edges together to join leaving no holes. Brush pastry lightly with the extra egg.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Leave to sit for 10 minutes before slicing.