I find I read cookbooks and recipes like most people read novels. I see a list of ingredients and in my mind I can taste the final result. What I like most is when a recipe includes more than just the list of ingredients. I seem to have developed this characteristic when I pass along my recipes, so I hope this feature pleases you too!
Here is a recipe I always make two of, one for now and one for the freezer. Although I prefer this pie in a crust, you can bake it in a pie pan by itself, just be sure and grease the pan well before adding the spinach mixture. I ususally serve it as an appetizer, part of a buffet or It is perfect along side a perfectly grilled steak. My mother passed this recipe down to me years ago.
For one (1) pie:
Preheat oven to 350°
1-10 ounce package of frozen spinach defrosted and squeezed as dry as possible
1-15/16 ounce container of ricotta, whole milk or part skim
8-Tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese (divided, 4 in the pie and 4 on top)
5-Tablespoons melted butter (divided, 3 in the pie and 2 on top)
1/2-cup all-purpose flour
1-teaspoon salt (sea or kosher)
A grating of fresh nutmeg about 1/8 teaspoon jar nutmeg
Mix together the spinach, ricotta, eggs, flour, nutmeg, salt and only 4 Tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese and 3 Tablespoons of the melted butter. Place in an unbaked pie shell and top with the remaining 4 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese and 2 Tablespoons melted butter. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until slightly puffed and golden. You may have to put strips of foil on the piecrust edges if they are getting too brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. If frozen, bring to room temperature before reheating.
Here is my favorite piecrust recipe. It makes enough for two, so freeze one for the future if you are only making one pie OR buy the two crust ready-made piecrust in your refrigerator section!
2 1/4 all-purpose flour
1 stick butter, almost frozen and cut into small pieces
4 to 6 Tablespoons ice water
3 Tablespoons cold shortening (Crisco)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place the flour in a food processor add the salt, butter and shortening. Pulse about 15 times until incorporated; slowly add ice water a little at a time with the motor running. The humidity in the air affects the consistency of the dough so adding the water slowly is important. Stop motor when dough just starts to come together, continue putting together on your counter. Divide in half, wrap in plastic and let it rest about 20 minutes in the refrigerator before rolling out.
I always talk about my “food” memories and here is a perfect example. My mother-in-law’s sister Florence Larsen would make this herring salad for family gatherings and it was always one of my favorites. We used to serve it as an appetizer with drinks. I have done some research and found that most herring salads include boiled potatoes but hers did not. In all deference to sweet Auntie Florence here is my version. I like to use the herring in sour cream with the onions all together to save a few steps. This amount makes about 6 cups of salad but of course you can scale down the recipe to your needs. I suggest you make the entire amount especially if you are having guests, and refrigerate the remainder. The recipe can be made in advance.
1-32 ounce jar Vita herring in sour cream, cut into a dice
1-16 ounce jar “pickled” beets, drained, cut into a dice
2- large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cut into a dice
2-Tablespoons sour cream
1-heaping Tablespoon small capers in juice
2-sleeves Saltine crackers or other plain crackers
1-teaspoon dried dill OR 2-teaspoons fresh dill (optional)
Dice herring, peeled apples and drained pickled beets, all into similar-sized dice. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. The beets impart a lovely pink color to the salad. Serve in a pretty bowl with crackers or on individual beds of lettuce. Makes approximately 6 cups.
Pat, I love your new web site and the pics to go along. I have every recipe you ever printed in the Manhasset Press. They are all in a big baggie and I guard them with my life. I have a couple of neighbors who asked each week for your recipe in the Press.
My favorite is still the spinach pie that was in the Our Lady of Grace cookbook many years ago. I made the potato tarts for my company last week and they were a hit !!
Anne F. Sarasota, FL
- AUNTIE FLORENCE'S HERRING SALAD