One of the many great things about Seattle is that there are almost no bugs in the summer, making Seattle an ideal locale for picnics. You may think of Seattle as rainy and cloudy but the reality is that we have many beautiful, sunny, not-too-hot summer days.
A picnic favorite that we enjoyed recently is this spinach and ricotta pie. It's easy to fix and travels beautifully. Somehow, a savory pie or quiche makes any picnic seem more festive.
You can go directly to the printable recipe or I'll show you how to make this, step-by-step...
Here are the ingredients for the filling. There are a couple of convenience items: chopped frozen spinach and prepared basil pesto (from the refrigerator section of the grocery). You can certainly replace these with fresh/homemade if you have the time and inclination.
You'll also need a 9" unbaked pie shell. I used the Press-in-the-Pan version (minus the sugar) which worked beautifully. As a shortcut, I've also used Pillsbury Just Unroll! Pie Crust. This refrigerator pie crust is pretty darn good (even the folks at Cook's Illustrated agree).
Start by thawing 1 (10-ounce) package of frozen chopped spinach. Meanwhile, we'll prepare the other filling ingredients.
But first, preheat your oven to 350° F.
Finely chop 1 medium onion.
Place a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter.
Add the chopped onions...
...and sauté until very soft and translucent, about 12 minutes.
While the onion is sautéing, grate 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese.
(I always grate cheese onto a paper towel so I can easily transfer it.)
Grate 1 cup of fresh Parmesan cheese.
In a small bowl, mix together 3 large eggs.
Squeeze as much moisture as possible from the thawed spinach.
Add the squeezed spinach to the skillet with the cooked onions...
...and stir to combine.
Into a large mixing bowl add 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese...
...the grated Parmesan cheese...
...and the grated mozzarella cheese.
Stir to combine.
Add the beaten eggs...
...1/3 cup prepared basil pesto...
...and 1/4 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg.
Add the spinach mixture...
...and stir to combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
Transfer to the prepared pie shell and smooth the top so that everything is distributed evenly.
Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes...
Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.
Spinach and Ricotta Pie
1 9" prepared pie crust
1 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
8 ounce mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
3 large eggs, beaten to blend
1/3 cup basil pesto
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350° F
Place a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the chopped onion in the butter until very soft and translucent, about 12 minutes. Mix in the thawed, squeezed spinach.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the spinach/onion mixture and stir to combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Transfer filling to prepared pie crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until puffed and golden. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! To view more step-by-step recipes, see the complete recipe index.
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