Rustic Spinach, Feta and Potato Pie

 **Please note: all food posts are from my previous blog The Flexitarian Kitchen. I've kept them here because... well, they're good recipes. And it's late. And I'm tired of adjusting my settings. Think of these recipes as the free prize in the bottom of the cereal box!

It's Fall! The mornings are crisp, and smell of wood smoke. Leaves drift from the trees, and great, ragged Vs of geese stitch their paths southward, tearing apart the afternoons with their complaints. In the kitchen the meals are getting warmer, heartier, and more filling as summer’s salads give way to autumn’s stews and apple pies.

Here in Texas, it’s still pretty warm during the day. There will be no suggestion of a frost for many weeks yet to come, at least not in my neck of the woods. We’re in what I call “transition food” time. It’s not cold enough for true blizzard food, but we want something more substantial than, say, fruit salad.

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon the perfect “transition food” for this time of year. It’s warm, and filling, and comforting, and it sticks to your ribs without sending you right into a dead sleep after dinner. I tweaked the recipe, added a little of this, subtracted a smidge of that, and now I think it’s just right. It’s similar to a quiche, without all the work of quiche crust. And even my non-egg eating daughter loves it! I give you…

Rustic Spinach, Feta and Potato Pie

You will need a deep dish 9” pie plate and, of course, some good music to listen to while you cook.

 You will also need:

  •  2 TBSP melted butter
  • 1/3 cup of Panko (or other dry) bread crumbs
  • 1 10-oz package of fresh spinach, stems discarded (you could use kale or Swiss chard leaves, or really any non-bitter green instead. Remember that most other greens don’t cook down as much as spinach does, so you’d use less of them.)
  • 1 TBSP salt. Yes, that’s a TABLESPOON. But you’re not going to stick it straight into your mouth, so trust me on this one. I will not send you into a sodium coma. Would I do that to you?
  • 2 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4” dice (that’s pretty small… like the size you’d get in corned beef hash.)
  • 1 C (6 oz) crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • A generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper.
  • 4 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 C milk.

Now let’s get down to it.

*Combine the butter and the bread crumbs and sprinkle them over the bottom and sides of the pie plate. This is your crust. Wasn’t that easy? Don’t you wish everything in the kitchen was that easy?

 *Place the raw greens in a colander and sprinkle the salt all over the leaves. Let them sit for 30 minutes. This will cause them to “sweat” out a lot of their juices. After 30 minutes, squeeze those sweaty greens and wring out as much of the moisture as you can. Chop the leaves roughly. Manhandle those bad boys!

 *Meanwhile, in a medium sized saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water. Bring them to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well and add them to the chopped greens.

 *By the way, did you know… if a vegetable grows below the ground (like potatoes, or turnips, or carrots) you always start it cooking in cold water? If the vegetable grows above the ground, like beans or peas or corn, you always start it cooking in boiling water. It’s true. It has to do with the starch. Or… or something like that.

 *Well, OK, I don’t actually know the reason. Can anyone tell us the reason, class?

 *Preheat your oven. Look inside first, in case you were seasoning a cast iron pan and forgot about it. Remind yourself that your oven is really gross and you need to clean it really soon. Tomorrow, maybe. Or after Christmas.

 *Add the remaining ingredients and pour into the prepared pie plate. Bake 40 minutes, or until the center is set.

 *Throw a loaf of bakery French bread in the oven to crisp up, and there’s dinner!

 *Of course, if you have time to bake a homemade chocolate cake for dessert, that would be amazing, too. I’m just sayin’.

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