Along with November I always find February quite a depressing month. Generally Ash Wednesday falls in February, unless Easter is very late, and so commences Lent – for some a period of abstinence.
An old church friend of mine used to suggest taking up something for Lent rather than giving something up.
This year, as usual, I will be forsaking alcohol for 40 days, or at least trying my best. However, I will also be taking up Spanish lessons – a hangover from my recent holidays.
This pie is built up in layers using filo pastry. Definitely shop bought - I wouldn’t entertain the idea of making it.
350g frozen petit pois
350g frozen broad beans (shelled)
150ml creme fraiche
600g frozen spinach
1/2pint cheese sauce
1 medium red onion
4 large tomatoes (peeled,cored and chopped)
150g goats cheese
2 packets filo pastry
50g grated cheddar cheese
Cook petit pois. Separately cook broad beans – after shelling (a tiresome but worthwhile task). Combine peas and shelled beans along with the creme fraiche and a teaspoon of mint sauce.
Cook spinach and drain well, combine with cheese sauce.
The tomatoes need to be peeled and cored. Blanche in boiling water to enable easier peeling. You can use tinned tomatoes if you like but fresh tomatoes suit the recipe better. Fry the medium onion in olive oil until soft, add to chopped tomatoes.
You now have 3 separate fillings.
Take your oven dish – 12″ x 8″ approx. Grease with melted butter.
Remove filo pastry from packet and take 2 sheets. Lay 1 on bottom of dish and brush with butter then place second sheet over it. Wrap remaining sheets in a clean wet cloth to prevent drying and cracking. Cover first layer with half of the pea and bean mix.
Place two more pastry sheets over this, using the melted butter between the 2 sheets as before. Next place half of spinach mix over this and cover with 2 filo sheets as before.
Now for the middle layer, put chopped tomato and fried onion on this layer and top with the sliced goats cheese spread evenly.
The remainder of the spinach mix and the rest of the peas and beans will form the next two layers, inter-leafing each with 2 layers of filo as before.
Sprinkle top layer with around 50g of grated cheddar and finish with 2 more sheets of filo brushed with melted butter.
The pie is now ready for the oven.
Bake in a pre-heated oven (200C) for 30-40 minutes until golden on top.
The first time I made this I used only 1 packet of filo pastry and although it was a huge success I felt we needed to double the quantity. That is why this recipe uses 2 sheets of filo between each layer.
The pie is quite filling and this amount will feed between 8 and 12 people. Serve with a mixed salad and/or new potatoes.