Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Green pie

It is a familiar situation: I had decided to take food to work rather than buy it at the overpriced canteen, but it was getting late and I couldn't find anything in the house I would have wanted to eat the following lunchtime. All I could find was some eggs and salad, and although egg salad would do in an emergency, I wasn't feeling excited by it.

Then I remembered some spinach and peas in the freezer, and that with some flour and butter I could make pastry. Spinach and pea quiche it was, then.

I make fairly awful pasty. This doesn't seem very fair when my Mum makes some of the best pastry I've ever tasted. Maybe pastry-making ability skips a generation, like twins. So I crumbled the butter into the flour, trying to think light thoughts while I did it, then slowly mixed in some cold water.

While that rested in the fridge I put a handful of frozen peas and four spheres of frozen spinach into a pan with a lump of butter and put it over a low heat to warm through. Rather than rolling out the pastry I'd heard of people just pressing it out in the pan with their fingers until the bottom and sides were covered evenly. This was easier than it sounds, and more fun than struggling with a rolling pin!

Two beaten eggs were mixed into the pea and spinach mixture along with a teaspoon on pesto and a tablespoon of crumbled Lancashire cheese. This went into the pastry case and I intended to bake it for about forty minutes, but got distracted and eventually retrieved it after about an hour. Amazing it wasn't burned and I think the firmer texture made it better suited to being shaken about in a box on the way to work.

A slice of this, with some green salad and sun-dried tomatoes (halved cherry tomatoes, tossed in oil, in the oven on gas mark one for five hours) made a really satisfying lunch that was far better than anything on offer in the canteen. Next time I might not bother using any peas though as they didn't add much.

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