We love this spinach and ricotta pie with spring vegetables, and especially so because it's easy and requires no crust! It has a quintessentially Mediterranean flavor, and is very easy to make. It's great for brunch or an easy supper; just pair it with a nice salad and you're good to go. If you love crust,feel free to pop this into a partially baked pie crust or puff pastry shell, but we love it just as it is. Free range eggs, organic ricotta, leeks or sweet onion, spinach and asparagus…YUM! We suggest a nice arugula salad to accompany this dish. We've got some great ideas for variation (see below) in case you want to go beyond the green ingredients of this dish. This is a wonderful make ahead brunch or supper dish and is great for picnics and entertaining because it travels easily.
- 1 pound spinach, cleaned and washed
- 1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed and cut on the bias into bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, or a combination of the two
- 2 leeks or 1 large sweet onion
- 1 pound organic whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmiggiano Reggiano (parmesan) cheese
- 3 extra large free range eggs
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 375'F and place a rack in the center of the oven.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Blanch the spinach leaves until just wilted, and shock in cold water.
Blanch the asparagus for 30-60 seconds, until it turns bright green. Drop the asparagus into cold water.
Squeeze the spinach out thoroughly and chop it.
Pat the asparagus dry.
Heat the butter or oil in a sauté pan over medium flame, and cook the leeks or onions until soft, stirring frequently, about 5-7 minutes.
Let cool slightly.
Mix together the ricotta, Parmiggiano, eggs, spinach, asparagus, and cooked leeks.
Season with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Generously grease a 9-inch glass pie pan or ceramic tart pan. Spread the spinach and ricotta mixture in the pan and bake it for 30-35 minutes, until it is slightly puffy and set in the center.
Variation: 1) Add 1/2 cup chopped roasted sweet red pepper to the spinach and ricotta mixture. Bake as directed.
Variation 2): Eliminate the asparagus and slice 8 ounces of cremini or shiitake mushrooms. Add them to the leeks or onions, and cook until the mushrooms are browning nicely and all moisture has evaporated, about 8-10 minutes. Fold the mushrooms into the ricotta mixture and bake as directed.
Copyright 2015 by Jen Hoy