Our garden has produced an abundance of silverbeet this past month, the rain has given it vitality. While I was picking the silverbeet leaves I discovered cluster-bug for the first time in our garden they were living in the more dense areas of leaves just at the base of the stalk. Recently at work I had a lesson about cluster-bug and learn’t the best tool to combat them organically. Yates Dipel kills caterpillars and a few other nasty insects but only them they do not ruin the eco-system of your garden critters. Only yesterday I bought some dipel to give a go in the garden to see if it reduces the amount of hungry caterpillars in the garden.
Moving on, silverbeet in our house usually ends up in a pie. Roy loves spinach pie, we make them in many different ways with crust, no crust, filo crust, with chicken, or olives and usually some sort of cheese. This time around we were going for decadent, Roy had never used filo pastry before so I gave him a lesson while making the pie. He could not get over how much butter is used to stick the sheets together. After tasting the first bite of warm pie, he was smittened with his filo pie crust, it was crispy and delicate. I think our next experiment with filo pastry together will be making baklava.
What do you use filo pastry for?
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1.3 kg silverbeet
- 2 lge brown onions, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 slices of bread, stale and toasted
- ½ cup of cous cous
- 500gm ricotta, hard
- ⅓ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
- 1 lemon, zested
- 3 eggs
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pkt filo pastry, defrosted
- 300gm butter, melted
- Heat a large shallow saucepan with a little olive oil over a low heat. In the meantime remove all the stems from the silverbeet and set the green ends to the side. Place the onions into the saucepan, while the onions are softening on a low temperature, chop the white part of the silverbeet finely into strips and add to the pan. The stems of the silverbeet will take up to ten minutes to cook through - they will go slightly translucent. While they are cooking roughly chop the green leaves and put in a large mixing bowl until required. Once the stems are cooked add the greens and increase the heat to medium and stir through. Once the greens are wilted add the garlic and stir for one minute or until it becomes fragrant. Place the silverbeet mixture back into the large mixing bowl.
- Tear the bread into small pieces and add it to the silverbeet mixture along with the couscous. Stir to combine these ingredients. Allow the mixture to cool for half an hour before continuing the recipe.
- Once the mixture has cooled slightly, add the ricotta, lemon zest, sunflower seeds, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Then add one egg at a time stirring to combine the mixture.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180’c. Grease and line a round baking dish 30cm in diameter with baking paper. Using the melted butter brush the inside of the tin and place a sheet of filo pastry into the tin allowing the edges to overhang. Repeat this process to cover the sides and bottom working clockwise overlapping 2 inches over from the last piece of filo. You must brush the pastry with butter each time you add another sheet.
- To make the lid use ten sheets and cut them into a square. Brush butter between each layer. Use the left over off cuts to fix any holes or thin bits of pastry inside the tin.
- Fill the filo pastry with the spinach mixture and add the lid to the pie. Curl the edges of the overhanging pastry in toward the pie to seal the edge. Use more butter to seal the pastry. Lastly sprinkle with cumin or sesame seeds.
- Bake for 45-50minutes or until golden and enjoy with a fresh salad.