crustless spinach pie with feta cheese, broiled romaine, and roasted root vegetables

roasted veggies, broiled romaine, crustless spinach pie with feta cheese

This is a complete vegetarian meal. The spinach pie is made with fresh spinach and herbs. The root vegetables are broiled during the last 5 minutes of cooking while the romaine is in the broiler! The broiled romaine’s got crunch and the sultry flavors of Parmesan and Romano cheeses. I adapted it from Alton Brown’s grilled romaine with a red wine vinegar granita.

Roasted Root Vegetables
You can use any kind of root vegetables in any combination you like. Increase the amount of turnips or leave out the parsnips. Add a celeriac or celery root.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Serves: 2-4

3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
1 medium turnip
2 medium parsnips
salt and pepper
olive oil
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Heat a large pot of water. When it is boiling, add the vegetables and cook 10 minutes or until just tender, about 10 minutes. When pierced with a fork, there is a little resistance. Remove vegetables from boiling water and spread on a tray lined with paper towels. Pat dry. Put the vegetables in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat thoroughly. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on the tray. Bake 35 minutes at 400˚F. For the last 5 minutes, broil the vegetables until lightly browned.

Crustless Spinach Pie with Feta Cheese (adapted from Skinnytaste)
Skinnytaste used a 10 oz package of frozen spinach for convenience’s sake. I like the fresh spinach, lightly sautéed until it turns bright green.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 28 minutes
Serves: 8

1 large bunch fresh spinach, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano (or dill)
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary (or parsley, thyme)
1/2 cup (2.5 oz) reduced fat crumbled feta
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (or Romano, Asiago)
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup fat free milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper to taste
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly spray a 9 inch pie dish with cooking spray.
Heat olive oil in a large dutch pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the spinach and cook it down until it is bright green and slightly wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and drain any excess water. Chop fine.

Mix spinach, scallions, herbs, and feta cheese in a large bowl and set aside. Sift flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients to flour mixture in the bowl. Combine flour mixture with spinach mixture, and mix well. Scrape into pie dish.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted near the center. Let the pie stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

Broiled Romaine (after a recipe by Alton Brown)
Alton Brown grilled the romaine but I found that most of the cheese ended up on the grill instead of on the lettuce. So I decided to broil it instead. Brown also froze red wine vinegar and then, like a granita, he scraped up a couple tablespoons of frozen vinegar with a fork and sprinkled it on top of the grilled lettuce. However, I found the red wine vinegar unpleasantly sour, so I left that out.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 2-3 minutes
Serves: 2

1 head romaine hearts split vertically in two
olive oil
2 tablespoons romano and Parmesan cheeses

Brush cut side of the romaine with olive oil. Sprinkle cheeses on a plate. Press oiled side into the cheeses. Put the lettuce, cheese side up, on a broiler tray and broil 2-3 minutes or until browned and cheese has melted. Remove from heat and serve at once.