We used to eat this spinach and rice pie every now and then at home, I’ve always loved this recipe. I recently tried it in my own kitchen for the first time and – without tooting my own horn too much – it turned out quite splendidly! I believe one of the secrets to get such a beautifully baked pie is using a metal pie form instead of a porcelain one. Oh, did I mention that this is quite a healthy recipe? Give it a try!
Ingredients for 6-8 servings (depends on how hungry you are, and if you’re serving anything else like salad with the pie)
1 big onion, chopped finely
1 kg of fresh or frozen spinach, roughly chopped
2 or 3 chopped garlic cloves, to taste
butter and olive oil
hot vegetable stock
150 grams of (basmati) rice
150 grams of parmezan cheese, grated (or other tasty hard cheese)
grated nutmeg, pepper and salt to taste
a metal pie form, about 26-28 cm diameter
Put a large casserole on medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil or butter. Fruit the onion until it’s soft and starting to become brown. Add the garlic and fry a little while with the onion. Add the spinach, you can do this in smaller bits at a time, as fresh spinach can be quite large. Stir-fry with the onion and garlic and add grated nutmeg, peper and salt. When the spinach has shrunk completely (or the frozen spinach has thawed), add the rice and keep on stir-frying a bit. Now add the vegetable stock in small portions. Be careful with quantities: my spinach released quite a lot of water, so I ended up having to scoop out liquid becaue I added too much vegetable stock at once. You want the rice to cook but not completely, there needs to be enough liquid left to cook the rice but too much will get you a soggy pie. When the rice is halfway done, take the casserole off the fire and let it cool a little. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Then add eggs and parmesan, and more nutmeg, pepper and salt to taste. The mixture should be quite gooey and contain plenty of liquid.
Butter the bottom and sides of your pie form and add breadcrumbs, whirl them around so every part of the form is covered in breadcrumbs and add the spinach mixture. Divide the spinach evenly and smooth over with a spoon. Cover with another layer of breadcrumbs (just scatter them from the box or with a spoon over the spinach until completely covered, it’s okay if the breadcrumbs soak up some of the liquid). Bake the pie for +/- one hour in a 180 degrees oven, if it becomes too brown you can cover with a layer of tinfoil. Enjoy!