Silverbeet and spinach is abundant all year round in NZ and the best thing to create with it is a scrumptious Silverbeet Filo Pie. This recipe is based on the Sicilian dish Torta di Pasqua. Healthy, delicious and chock full of iron!

Serves: 8

Ingredients

10-12 silverbeet leaves with white stalks removed (spinach or amaranth are also great)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 spring onions, including greens, chopped
50g pinenuts
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves (or pesto)
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
50g raisins
salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g ricotta cheese (we like Perfect Italiano)
50g grated Parmesan cheese (again Perfect Italiano)
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese (you got it, Perfect Italiano)
12 sheets filo pastry
1 tablespoon butter, melted
4 large hard-boiled eggs, sliced

Method

  1. In a large flat saucepan, bring 2cm of water to the boil. Add silverbeet, cover pan and remove from heat. Wait 3 minutes, lift out the leaves, transfer to a colander, drain and cool to room temperature.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium-size non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and spring onions. Reduce heat to medium and sauté, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the pine nuts, oregano, basil or pesto, cinnamon and nutmeg, and continue sautéing until the pine nuts begin to colour, about 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in the raisins and silverbeet and remove from the heat. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella. Mix well to combine. Add silverbeet mixture and stir thoroughly. Leave to chill in the fridge while cooking the pastry.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  7. Lay 4 sheets of filo pastry on a dry board or bench. Place the bottom of a 20cm spring-form pan on top of the filo pastry and trace the outline of the pan on the filo with a sharp knife, cutting out a circle of pastry. Repeat twice with the remaining pastry. You should have 3 circles, each 4 layers thick.
  8. Using a palette knife, place 2 pastry circles side by side on a baking tray and brush the surface of each with melted butter. Keep the scraps of filo pastry for later use. Keep the third covered with wax paper draped with a damp towel.
  9. Bake the 2 pastry circles for 6 minutes, until golden. Turn them over and brush the bottoms with butter. Return them to the oven until golden, about 6 minutes more. Leave the oven on.
  10. Grease the spring-form tin.
  11. Place one of the baked pastry circles into the bottom of the pan. Spread half of the silverbeet and cheese mixture on top. Place half of the egg slices over that. Top with the second circle of baked pastry. Spread the rest of the silverbeet mixture on top, then add the remaining egg slices. Lay the remaining circle of pastry on top of the pie and lightly brush it with butter.
  12. Scrunch up the off-cuts of pastry and put over the top of the pie. Brush well with butter.
  13. Bake in the centre of the oven until golden brown, about 35 minutes.
  14. Let the pie cool thoroughly in the pan on a rack before removing. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.
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