With an abundant supply of spinach from dad’s garden I used this recipe today for a rustic spinach pie that is baked free-form, without a tin. It has a simple olive oil crust and a filling of spinach, red onions, mushrooms and cheese. It is easy to make and you will love it.
Spinach and Three Cheese Pie
Olive oil pastry
300g plain flour
60ml olive oil
1 generous pinch of sea salt
175ml warm water
2 bunches fresh spinach
1 red onion finely chopped
300g sliced mushrooms
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh marjoram or 2 tsp fresh thyme
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g grated firm mozzarella cheese
100g crumbled feta cheese
100g Parmesan cheese
For the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a pile on the bench. Make a well in the centre and tip in the olive oil and most of the water. Gradually mix the flour into the oil and water. You may need to add a little more water or flour. Alternatively, the dough can be made in a food processor. Bring the dough together into a ball and knead for four or five minutes until smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic and leave on the bench for 30 minutes. If using much later, keep in the fridge.
For the filling, wash the spinach thoroughly. Cut the leaves away from the stalks. Roughly chop the spinach leaves.
Heat half the olive oil in a frypan with the onions and mushrooms and fry until nicely golden, stirring occasionally. Mix the cheeses together and set aside. Combine the spinach in a bowl with the egg, cheese and olive oil, the marjoram or thyme, a pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 180C fan, or 200C conventional.
Sprinkle the bench and rolling pin with flour. Roll the pastry out into a large oval shape. Scatter the red onion, cheese and spinach mixture evenly over the base of the dough and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Fold the edges in over the filling making a pleat with each fold. The middle will be open. Brush the pastry with olive oil and sprinkle with white sesame seeds. Bake the pie in the centre of the oven for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Cover the middle with a little foil if it’s becoming too brown. Let the pie rest for a few minutes before cutting. Serve with a wedge of lemon, warm or at room temperature.