An excellent vegetarian feast was enjoyed yesterday at Relish Mama. Our fabulous and passionate Caroline Gray was behind the big Relish Mama bench, teaching truly wonderful Vegetarian dishes in the style of Ottolenghi.
This class is very special. Lots of hands-on communal cooking followed by a vegetarian feast at the table….with wines, of course.
Caroline saved me a piece of the Ottolenghi herb filled pie that was created in class. It was super delicious. And when I ate it, it instantly took me back to my childhood.
I grew up enjoying a very similar pie. Mum used to make us this pie in the warmer Summer months. It was laden more with spinach than the Swiss chard filled pie from our cooking class. I remember enjoying Mums pie, perched on our bluestone back porch, often in my bathers, always with my siblings. The pie was always clutched tightly between fingers and with each bite, bursting with spinachy-cheesy goodness. It was a messy affair, and delicate flakes of pastry would always spill down our fronts as well as down onto the bluestone rocks. I guess this is the very reason why I only ever remember eating this pie outdoors.
Mums pie refuelled us in between backyard swims in our much loved Clarke’s rubber pool. (Please tell me you had one of these also). It was half in-ground, and we thought we were the luckiest kids on earth to have such a thing. …..and we were.
Caroline – thank you for the piece of pie and for such a delicious class. And thank you to all who came to enjoy a special part of their weekend with us here at Relish Mama.
This is a perfect vegetarian recipe for warmer nights and insanely good leftover lunches.
Have a terrific and delicious week.
With love & wishing you happy baking days always,
For more great recipes like this one and lots of dinner inspiration, the Relish Mama cookbooks can be sent directly to your door. Consider them your new best friend in the kitchen.
Herb Filled Pie
- Fryin pan
- Pastry brush
- Cooking spoons
- 70 ml olive oil
- 1 large onion peeled and diced
- 1 bunch Swiss chard stems and leaves thinly shredded and kept separate
- 2 sticks celery thinly sliced
- 3 spring onions chopped
- 1 big handful rocket leaves
- 1 bunch parsley chopped
- 1 bunch mint chopped
- Half a bunch dill chopped
- 120 g ricotta crumbled
- 100 g mature cheddar grated
- 60 g fetta crumbled
- 1 lemon, zest grated
- 2 eggs free-range
- 1 tsp.
- 1/2 tsp black pepper freshly cracked
- ½ tsp. caster sugar
- 250 g filo pastry
- Heat the oven to 180C/. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a deep skillet and, on medium heat, sauté the onion for eight minutes without browning.
- Add the chard stems and the celery, cook for four minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the chard leaves, raise the heat and cook, stirring, for four minutes, until wilted.
- Add the spring onion, rocket and herbs, cook for two minutes and transfer to a colander.
- Once cool, squeeze out as much liquid as you can, transfer to a bowl and mix in the cheeses, zest, eggs, salt, pepper and sugar.
- Lay out a sheet of filo and brush it with olive oil. Cover with another sheet and repeat until you have five layers of filo brushed with oil and covering an area large enough to line the sides and base of a 22cm pie dish, with extra overhanging the edges. Line the dish with filo, fill with the herb mix and fold the excess pastry over the edges of the filling, trimming to create a 2cm border.
- Make another five-layer filo piece as before and place on top. Scrunch up the pastry a little to create a wavy, uneven top, and trim the edges so it just covers the filling.
- Brush with more oil and bake for 40 minutes, until the filo turns golden brown.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.