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This rustic country pie made with plenty of hearty winter greens makes for a perfect lunch or dinner.
1kg silverbeet, kale, spinach, or cavalo nero
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 leek, washed well and cut thinly
1 onion, sliced thinly
3 rashers smoked bacon (optional), finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed into a paste
1 tsp fresh rosemary or thyme leaves, finely chopped
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ cup parmesan, pecorino or vintage cheddar, grated
1 cup breadcrumbs, fresh or dried
3 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup grated parmesan, or pecorino cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
Remove the stalks from the silver beet and any other large greens you may be using. When the water is boiling, add the stalks first and cook for 2 minutes then add the leaves, cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Drain well and cool on a tray lined with a clean cloth (this will soak upany excess moisture and cool the greens without losing any excess flavour).
Preheat the oven 180degC. Brush a deep pie dish or cake tin with 2 tablespoons of oil and scatter enough of the measured 1 cup of breadcrumbs to coat the dish well.
In a large fry pan heat the oil and add the bacon, cook over moderate heat for 2-4 minutes or until the bacon has started to colour. Add the onions, leeks and rosemary and cook until soft (5-8 minutes). Remove any excess water from the greens and chop roughly, add them to the panalong with the garlic, chilli flakes, nutmeg and seasoning. Cook for a further minute or two, allowing the flavours to mingle, remove from the heat and place in a bowl to cool.
When cool, add the eggs, half the grated cheese and half the remaining breadcrumbs to the silver beet and mix well to combine. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Pour the mix into the prepared pie dish and spread out with the back of a spoon.
Mix together the remaining breadcrumbs, half cup of grated cheese and tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Sprinkle this crumb mixture over your pie and bake until set and lightly browned, about 45 minutes. (If the top begins to get too brown simply cover with foil.) Cool to room temperature before slicing.
• Alison Lambert, chef at the Otago Farmers Market, will be demonstrating this recipe at the market on Saturday morning.