Spinach Tart – Le Menagier de Paris
Good vegetarian dishes are always on my list to find new recipes and try them out. This leafy green and cheese pie from Le Manager De Paris looks like it’ll fit the bill perfectly!
TO MAKE A TART, take four handfuls of beet-leaves, two handfuls of parsley, one handful of chervil, a bit of turnip-top and two handfuls of spinach, and clean them and wash them in cold water, then chop very small: then grate two kinds of cheese, that is one mild and one medium, and then put eggs with it, yolk and white, and grate them in with the cheese; then put the herbs in the mortar and grind them up together, and also add to that some powdered spices. Or in place of this have first ground up in the mortar two pieces of ginger, and over this grate your cheeses, eggs and herbs, and then throw in some grated old pressed cheese or some other such on to the herbs, and carry to the oven, and then make it into a tart and eat it hot.
- 375g of smooth ricotta
- 170g mixed greens finely chopped (I used silverbeet and beet leaves.)
- 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley (to then be finely chopped)
- 100g grated tasty cheese
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 1/4 teaspoon each of ground ginger, pepper, clove, cinnamon, salt
- 50g parmesan cheese (grated)
- Pastry for a 20 cm pie.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line your pie dish with the pastry. You can blind bake the pastry if necessary. (For this test, I was using filo pastry as a quick way to test the pie as I didn’t have the time to make pastry)
- Put the ricotta cheese in a bowl. If it’s not smooth out of the tub, stir with a wooden spoon until it is smooth.
- Finely chop all herbs and add to the cheese.
- Add the grated tasty cheese into the bowl.
- To the beaten eggs, add all the spices and whisk together.
- Add to the cheese and herb mix.
- Place the mixture in the pie and add the grated parmesan on top until it makes a lid of sorts.
- Put it in the oven until the parmesan starts to brown (for me, this was 35 minutes.) The recipe made a 20cm pie plus a small ramekin which I did without pastry. (it was cooked in 20 minutes.)
I allowed the pie to cool as I’m taste testing it as a room temperature snack. Many positive things were said about it, so I’m adding this one to the St Ives list. It’ll be used as a filling mid-morning snack.
I had made an earlier testing pie with cottage cheese instead of riccotta. Taste testers tried it hot, said it was okay but would have preferred ricotta cheese. At room temperature, the lighter ricotta was favoured.
I note that the medieval kitchen -recipes from France and Italy (my review of this book can be found here) has a slightly different translation to the free online translation available at the above website which I’ve used and notes fennel instead of turnip tops. I’ve chosen to just leave that out. The first pie did use fennel, and I found the taste to be a little weird.
I have also now tried using a 250g of frozen spinach in the goal of reducing workload. Following the instructions to gently microwave it back to temperature and then gently squeezing out excess water with paper towel, it resulted in a slightly less flavourful pie, not otherwise very similar for a fraction of the effort and price.
Cross section of pie