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Cheshire Cheese has a similar texture to salty Feta Cheese so this is a recipe influenced by the Greek use of Feta with Spinach. The tangy creamy Cheshire Cheese is balanced off with the sweetness of the caramelised shallots, garlic, iron rich spinach and the acidity is offset with some fresh ginger and oregano. The combination of flavours really works well and this vegetarian recipe has been well received by the meat eaters too. Recipe by founder Simon Spurrell
Prep 20 minutes cooking time 25 minutes for 15cm pie dish250g Short Crust Pastry ready made or make your own. 1 large shallot finely chopped1 large clove of garlic crushed1 tsp chopped fresh ginger1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 heaped tsp of Oregano1 tbsp butter 200g fresh spinach 150-200g Creamy Cheshire Cheese coasely grated 30g Pine nuts roughly crushed Red Pepper relish to garnish
1. Pre-heat your oven to 170c and roll out the pastry to the thickness of a 10p for super thin crispy pastry finish. Line the base of your pie dish with a disk of pastry allowing for pasrty to overlap to allow for shrinkage. Crumple up tin foil or greaseproof paper and place on top of the pastry and cover with baking beans or rice and then blind bake for 10-15 minutes. Roll out the rest of the pastry to form the top of the pie and set to one side. 2. Whilst the base is baking heat the oil and butter in a large heavy based frying pan. Add the shallots and gently fry on a low to medium heat for 10 minutes stirring frequently. Add the garlic and ginger and oregano and gently fry for another 5 minutes stirring frequently. At this point remove the pastry base from the oven and remove the baking beans from the dish to cool
3. Add the spinach to the mixture iand stir constantly for 3-5 minutes until the spinach has reduced down to combine and bind with the mixture. Roughly chop the pine nuts and stir into the spinach. Turn off the heat and add about 50g of the cheese to the mixture and quickly combine with the rest of the ingredients in the pan. Season with salt & black pepper.
4. Trim off the top of the pastry for the base and scatter 25-50g of the Cheshire Cheese into the base of the pie then place the cooled spinach mix on top and then scatter the remaining Cheshire Cheese onto the top of the Spinach. Place the pastry onto the top of the pie and crimp the edges of the pie down and pierce the top to allow steam to escape, brush the pie top with beaten egg or milk. Place into the oven for 25 minutes until browned all over. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving with sweet red pepper relish.