Treasure house of vitamins and minerals, spinach must be included in the week's menu. The usage can be varied: chopped spinach leaves cooked with potatoes is a semi-wet vegetable with rotis, a few spinach leaves thrown in with mixed vegetables and turned into a soup is lovely on a cold winter night, chopped and blanched spinach makes a different sort of raita, spinach puree can be used in cutlets or kababs, the list goes on. So here is the recipe:
- Spinach shredded 3 cups
- Paneer (cottage cheese) grated 150 grams
- Refined flour (maida) 1 cup + for dusting
- Chilled butter 2 tablespoons
- Salt to taste
- Olive oil 1 teaspoon + for greasing
- Onion finely chopped 1 medium
- Black pepper powder 1 teaspoon
- Nutmeg powder ¼ teaspoon
- Rosemary sprigs a few
- Egg 1
- Milk 1 cup
- Fresh cream ½ cup
- To make short crust pastry, put flour and butter in a bowl and rub them together till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add salt and chilled water as required, mix and knead into stiff dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180ºC. Grease a round baking tin with oil and dust with flour.
- Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add onion and sauté for a minute. Add spinach, mix well and cook on low heat for a minute.
- Add pepper powder, nutmeg powder and salt, mix well and cook till the spinach wilts.
- Add rosemary, mix well and cook till the moisture dries up. Switch off heat and cool down to room temperature.
- Dust the worktop with some flour and place the dough on it. Roll out into a disc larger than the size of the baking tin.
- Place the disc in the prepared tin and press. Prick with a fork all over, place a butter paper on top and fill it with beans of your choice. Place the tin in the preheated oven and blind bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove the tin from oven, remove the butter paper and the beans. Spread the spinach mixture over the pastry and top with cottage cheese.
- Whisk together egg, salt, pepper powder, milk and cream in a bowl and pour this mixture over the cottage cheese. Place the tin the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Cut into wedges and serve hot.