Greens and Herb Pie in a Potato Crust

A mixture of greens and a riot of herbs make this a tasty vegetarian option. This pie is labor intensive, but worth the effort. It is delicious and attractive. Most of your time will be frying the potatoes for the crust. If you want to avoid this, you could do the same filling in a filo pastry. You can substitute a combination of white onions and scallions for the spring onions.

Our video walks you through this recipe (including how to make the crust).

olive oil
3 large spring onions, whites and greens separated and finely sliced
1 bunch chard, stems and greens separated and finely chopped
1 bunch spinach, leaves only
2 cups of assorted fresh herbs, finely chopped (cilantro, parsley, dill, and mint are a good mix)
3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced ⅛” thick
1 cup ricotta cheese
½ cup feta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
zest of one small lemon
salt and pepper

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Spinach and Mushrooms on Garlic Toast

Spinach, mushrooms, and garlic are a heavenly combination. This simple dish is one of my favorite lunches. You could toss a fried egg on top and call it breakfast. Make it quite peppery. Serve it on whole grain bread for a healthy meal.

4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4″ thick
2 cloves garlic
1 pound spinach
4 slices country bread
salt and pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in roomy skillet, add mushrooms, and cook over medium high heat until they have released their juices, and just started to brown, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from pan.

Return pan to heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and one clove of garlic, thinly sliced. Add the spinach, sprinkle with salt, and cook until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Return the mushrooms to the pan and toss with the spinach. Taste for salt and pepper.

Brush bread slices with olive oil. Slice remaining garlic clove in half and rub onto bread. Place on wire rack under broiler. Toast until browned. Flip to toast alternate side.

Place bread on plates, top with mushrooms and spinach, and enjoy.

Serves 2-4

Miso Soup with Tofu and Spinach

I recently came up with this miso soup recipe after following another recipe that came out way too salty.

Play around with the combination of misos until you find what suits your tastes. The white miso is sweeter and less salty. The red miso is aged and has more umami and bite to it.

The spinach is adding an extra nutritional punch, but leave it out if you like.  Also you could substitute bean sprouts,  shaved carrot or daikon, cabbage, or whatever you fancy.

Shichimi togarashi is also called Japanese seven spice seasoning.  It contains red pepper, roasted orange peel, yellow sesame seed, black sesame seed, Japanese pepper, seaweed, and ginger; it is delicious sprinkled on many dishes.  You will find it at Asian supermarkets.

The miso will separate so stir before serving and stir occasionally while eating.

The end result is a delicious layering of umami, all without msg or any gimmick squeezed from a tube.

Miso Soup

Serves 4-6

6 cups dashi
1 cup spinach leaves
5 ounces medium or firm silken tofu (about 1 1/2 cups), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 scallions, finely sliced, including both white & green
3 tablespoons red miso
3 tablespoons white miso
1/4 teaspoon shichimi togarashi, or cayenne pepper

Bring dashi to simmer and add spinach leaves.  Once the leaves have wilted (1 to 2 minutes), add the scallions and tofu.  Simmer for half a minute.  Turn off heat.  Allow to cool to 100 degrees (about 15 minutes).  Put misos into bowl and ladle in one cup of dashi.  Whisk together.  Add miso to soup and whisk until smooth.  Return to low simmer, but do not boil.  Serve in bowls sprinkled with shichimi togarashi.