Imagine yourself bathed in Springtime sun, people-watching, a glass of crisp white wine in hand, at a chic little bistro in the Marais in Paris. When your lunch appears, there's a simple, vegetable pie accompanied by a small green salad and baguette. Want to make this pie at home with minimal effort and maximal rewards?
This savory pie makes an elegant main course, no matter the time of day. Bound together by a small amount of egg and cheese, its perfection lies in the balance of the rich custard and bright, flavorful vegetables. The addition of artichoke hearts takes me back to the French quiches that went down so easily as I toodled around Paris.
This dish is simple to assemble, yet very elegant and will surely please a crowd. My friends always clamor for just one more slice and I keep most of the ingredients on hand for impromptu savory pie feasting. This recipe is very adaptable. For example, I've tried spinach in place of kale, shredded carrots instead of the artichoke hearts, all variations have been successful, but my heart remains true to the lovely, delicious original.
4 eggs, beaten
8 ounces ricotta cheese
4 ounces Parmesan, grated
1 cup canned artichokes, chopped
1 bunch (3 to 4 large stalks) nero cavola kale, rib removed and leaves roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan lightly with olive oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta cheese, and Parmesan. Roughly chop the artichokes and thinly slice the kale leaves and add to the cheese and egg mixture. Season lightly with salt and generously with black pepper Stir until combined.
Pour contents of bowl into the greased cake pan and drizzle with olive oil. Cook until custard is set, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool on a wire wrack for 5 to 10 minutes and serve.
Serving Idea: Slivers of ripe avocado make a terrific garnish.
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Related: Recipe: Savory Kabocha Tofu Pie
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)