I am keenly aware of the fact that this blog needs some new content. I'll get there, I promise! But, in the meantime, I wanted to bring attention to an old favorite that I revisited and edited recently, which is Theo the Greek's Spinach Pie (October 2010). I had a group of friends over for a Ladies' Night In, and made two. My goodness, I had forgotten how much I love it! If you haven't read about it or tried it yet (for shame! You really should!) I'll fill you in: it's essentially a quiche loaded with "Greek" flavors: lots of spinach, tomatoes, garlic, and feta. And because it has so many veggies it requires relatively few eggs and uses no cream, so I like to think of it as a modestly healthier quiche alternative. When I made it for my girlfriends I made a these adaptations:
First, to fancy it up, I used two tart pans measuring 10-inches by 1-inch, instead of disposable pie tins, which are usually my go-to (usually with premade pie crusts in them, straight from my grocery store's freezer section). Now, my geometry skills are a little bit rusty, but I was quite an ace back in the day. I dug into the crevices of my brain, and using a little pi r2 action determined that the volume of each tart pan is about 78 cubic inches, or about 5 ⅓ cups. As a comparison, I figured out that a disposable pie tin, which is what my original recipe was scaled for, holds about 3 ¼ cups. Of course, I did all this math after the fact--when I was actually cooking I poured the filling into the pans, realized it was too little, beat an extra couple of eggs and poured them on top and smushed it all around. Long story short: using 10-inch tart pans, this recipe requires 6 jumbo eggs instead of 4.
The rest of the volume discrepancy was accounted for by the other ingredients, which I also played with. For convenience I used 8 ounces of feta instead of the 9 I originally wrote (a 1 pound block divided between 2 pies). Despite the larger size of the pie, I thought it was abundantly cheesy and salty, so I'm thinking that in the future I will always use 7 or 8 ounces of feta. I also had 35 ounce cans of tomatoes on hand, so I used those instead of 28 ounce cans, so these pies were slightly heavier on the tomato. Lastly, I had a couple of partially used onions kicking around in the fridge, so I diced those and sauteed them first, before adding the garlic--it was probably about half a cup of onion in each one.
The moral of this story is that with such a stellar flavor combination, it's easy to add a little more or less of each of the ingredients, or add a complimentary one, and the result is still fantastic. And if you're motivated to make your own pie crust, as I was, the result is even tastier. (I will post my recipe for a single savory pie crust soon, promise!) The one thing I didn't account for when baking this slightly larger version is that it will take longer to bake--nearly an hour--so plan accordingly!
If this is the first time you've stumbled upon this recipe, or if you saw it before and still haven't tried it, I really can't sing its praises enough. New stuff in the works, so stay tuned.