Spinach, Cheese & Green Onion Pie with Dill and Fines Herbes
There’s nothing better than a fresh baked pie on a dreary, Fall day. I decided to make a savory pie (quiche) with some fresh spinach, green onions, garlic, dill, Fines Herbes, eggs, milk, Parmesan and Sharp White Cheddar cheese I had on hand. So easy, and the perfect comfort food to warm you up on a gray day like today.
I used store-bought frozen pie crusts to save time and make my life easier, but if you’re in the mood to make your own pie crust, here’s a great basic recipe by Martha Stewart. If you’re into gluten-free, check out this pie crust recipe by Bea Peltre of La Tartine Gourmande. You can also make or cut the dough into smaller mini pies or use this recipe filling for a 9-inch tart if you prefer. This is a vegetarian recipe, but would also be fantastic with a little bit of crispy bacon or prosciutto and asparagus or broccoli if you’re not a spinach fan. You can also substitute Gruyere or Fontina cheese in place of the shredded White Cheddar if you like. Serve with leafy greens tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette and a latte or glass of white wine, and you’ve got a fantastic brunch! Enjoy.
Spinach, Cheese & Green Onion Pie with Dill and Fines Herbes
- 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell (or handmade pie dough)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 green onions, sliced thin
- 1- 5 ounce package fresh baby spinach leaves
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon dried Fines Herbes
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
- Pinch of ground nutmeg (a few sprinkles)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups shredded White Sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Let frozen pie shell defrost and place in a 9 inch pie pan.
- Heat oil and butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute spinach for a few minutes until wilted. Add minced garlic and green onions and saute for another minute or so. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs with milk, herbs and seasonings. Add Parmesan cheese to egg mixture and stir well.
- Place the spinach, garlic and onion mixture over the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Sprinkle grated Cheddar cheese over the top. Pour egg, milk and herbs mixture over the cheese, spreading evenly inside the pie crust.
- Bake pie in oven for 45 minutes until eggs are firmly set and crust is browned. If crust edges start browning too quickly, cover them with some foil half way through.
- Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool and firm up for 10-15 minutes.
- Slice into wedges and serve with a green salad.
*Alternative Recipe Suggestions: Add some crispy bacon or prosciutto to the quiche, substitute Gruyere or Fontina for Cheddar, or use asparagus or broccoli instead of spinach.
Betcha can’t eat just one slice!
Other Spinach Pie Recipes you might enjoy:
Paula Deen’s Crustless Spinach and Cheese Quiche
Williams Sonoma Spinach and Feta Quiche
Martha Stewart Spinach and Gruyere Quiche
Summertime is always my favorite time of year – when the sun is always shining, a warm breeze is in the air, and all the flowers, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables are in full bloom. Everyone is out grilling BBQ, visiting the farmer’s markets, having picnics in the park and enjoying the sunny, lazy days with friends and family. With Summer quickly approaching, I created this great Father’s Day Menu you’ll love: Grilled Rosemary and Garlic Steak with Portabella Mushrooms and Peppers, a Bistro-Style Herbed Potato Salad and a refreshing Watermelon-Strawberry Salad.
Roasted Garlic Rosemary Steak
This is an easy and delicious recipe for Grilled Rosemary and Garlic Steak with Portabella Mushrooms and Peppers that has a tangy garlic and red wine flavor. Start with Tavern Direct Roasted Garlic Cabernet (or any red-wine and garlic vinaigrette dressing) to marinate the steak and veggies before grilling to give it a tender robust flavor. After grilling, top it all off with Steak Sauce, fresh rosemary and a bit of Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper for a healthy, tasty Summer BBQ!
This Watermelon and Strawberry Salad is a simple combination of fresh watermelon, strawberries and a few blueberries mixed in with a little bit of lemon juice, sugar and water to make a simple refreshing syrup to macerate the fruit. This is how we traditionally make the fruit salad but you can also toss the fruit in a citrus-infused balsamic vinegar for a tangy contrast with the sweet fruit – I recommend Tavern on the Green Citrus Balsamic– a refreshing blend of orange, tangerine and lime essence.
Bistro-Style Herbed Potato Salad
The French-Bistro Herbed Potato Salad is made with salt potatoes and fresh herbs, a lightened up version from the heavier mayonnaise-laden salads from our family picnics of the past. It calls for salt potatoes (red or yellow), shallots, parsley and thyme tossed in an oil, vinegar and Dijon mustard base making it light and tangy. Fresh parsley adds some green…and the sweet shallots mixed with thyme, dill and onions gives it a nice tangy flavor. I added some dried dill (you could also use fresh) and a few chopped green onions for an extra dash of flavor – enjoy!
Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Steak with Portabella Mushrooms and Peppers
- 4 steaks (T-bone, NY Strip or Ribeye), about 1 ½ inches thick
- 3 red, yellow & orange peppers, julienned
- 3 Portabellos, stems removed, sliced
- 1 cup Tavern Direct Roasted Garlic Cabernet Marinade (or red-wine vinaigrette dressing)
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Steak Sauce, for serving if desired (Tavern Direct or desired brand)
- A few sprigs of fresh rosemary, snipped
- Preheat a charcoal grill or grill pan to medium high. Preheat a separate medium-sized sauté pan over medium heat.
- Place steaks in a baking dish or large freezer bag and pour marinade over steaks, coating evenly. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper and rosemary and let marinate for up to 1 hour at room temperature uncovered.
- Slice bell peppers and Portobello mushrooms and marinate in separate mixing bowls. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both and mix through, marinating for approximately 30-45 minutes.
- Spray the sauté pan with cooking spray or olive oil. Sauté the sliced peppers until soft and slightly browned about 5-7 minutes. Remove and cover with foil.
- Spray the grill or grill pan with cooking spray or olive oil and place Portabella mushrooms on grill. Cook approximately 5-7 minutes per side until soft and grill marks appear. Remove and cover with foil on a separate plate.
- Let the charcoal grill or grill pan heat up to high again. Spray with oil and cook steaks approximately 5 minutes per side (for medium rare), 7-8 minutes per side (for medium).
- Remove steaks from grill and let sit for 5-10 minutes under foil tent to let juices redistribute. Plate and serve steaks with mushrooms and peppers.?Drizzle the Steak Sauce over steak, if desired.
- Sprinkle Kosher salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh rosemary.
- Serves 4.
Bistro-Style Herbed Potato Salad
- 2 pounds salt potatoes, halved (or new potatoes)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper?
- 1/4 cup olive oil (light yellow, not extra virgin)
- 3 tablespoons Dijon or grainy mustard
- 2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill
- ½ teaspoon dried Fines herbes
- 1/4 small Vidalia onion, chopped fine
- 1-2 green onions, sliced
- Place potatoes in a large pot of cold salted water so that potatoes are covered approximately under 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Cool potatoes under cold water then drain and set aside.
- To make the salad dressing: whisk together oil, mustard, vinegar, shallot, and herbs in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add cooked potatoes and chopped onion and 1/2 of the green onions to the dressing and toss to combine.
- Let salad cool and marinate at room temperature, then garnish with additional green onions and parsley for serving.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 watermelon, cubed
- 3 cups strawberries, halved
- 1/2 pint fresh blueberries
- fresh mint or micro greens, for garnish
- To make the simple syrup, bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, let simmer for about 5 minutes and cool.
- Place watermelon, strawberries and blueberries in a large bowl and add the syrup, mixing well. Add a dash of lemon juice and garnish with mint or microgreens.
*Chef’s Note: The only thing missing is dessert and wine to make it a full meal: I recommend a lovely lemon or pistachio gelato for dessert, and a bold Cabernet or hearty red wine to pair with the Steak and salads.
Find Tavern on the Green Products online at www.taverndirect.com – all their products were designed by Lou Bivona, a Rochester native, in conjunction with the legendary NYC restaurant in Central Park, Tavern on the Green. With every sale, a portion of all proceeds goes to the charity National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Spinach, Artichoke & Ricotta Tart
With all the cooking I’ve been doing lately, I’ve decided to mix it up and experiment with some baking. I’m obsessed with savory tarts and quiches – perfect comfort food for this cold Winter we’re having in New York. I also haven’t played with puff pastry too much, so I though a free-form Spinach, Artichoke & Ricotta tart would be fun to make for my sweetie on Valentine’s Day.
This recipe is fairly easy to make and healthy with all the veggies loaded on top. The light and creamy ricotta base has lemon zest, thyme and fines herbs to give it a bright, fresh flavor. It’s topped with sautéed fresh spinach and artichokes with a little bit of garlic and chile flakes, and I also used a combination of two flavor-infused oils by Tavern Direct – one with Lemon and Pepper, and the other with Chile Pepper and Garlic to give it a little more kick. You could also substitute the veggies with some zucchini and yellow squash and some shallots or sweet potato with bacon and kale. The tart is topped off with four shredded Italian cheeses, then baked to a flaky, golden brown perfection. I used a frozen puff pastry, which is convenient to use, but if you prefer you can make your own puff pastry dough, which is a bit more time and effort but delicious all the same – Martha Stewart has a great recipe on her site. This scrumptious, savory tart is great served with a green salad and a crisp glass of white wine.
1 15 oz container Ricotta cheese
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tbsp fines herbes, dried
1 egg yolk
Rind of 1 lemon, finely grated
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp olive oil (can substitute lemon, garlic or chile-infused oils for more flavor)
3 handfuls fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 pkg frozen artichokes, drained and chopped into large chunks
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes (add more or less to adjust heat)
1 puff pastry sheet
1 cup shredded Italian cheeses (Fontina, Parmesan, Romano, Mozzarella)
Kosher or Sea Salt, to taste
Fresh ground garlic and black pepper seasoning, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Ricotta and Lemon and Herbs
In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, thyme, fines herbes, lemon rind and egg yolk until smooth. Set aside.
Spinach and Artichokes
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add artichokes and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add spinach and saute until it begins to wilt, another 1-2 minutes. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes and saute 1 additional minute. Remove from heat, cover with saucepan lid and set aside.
Roll out pastry dough and sprinkle with a little bit of flour. Score around the edges with a sharp knife to make a 1 inch border and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Garlic Butter Wash
Melt the butter and minced garlic on the stove or in the microwave for about 1 minute. With a pastry brush, coat the entire pastry sheet with the garlic butter.
Ricotta Mixture on Tart
Spread the ricotta mixture within the border on to the pastry sheet.
Spinach and Artichokes on Tart
Top with spinach, artichoke, garlic and red pepper topping.
Sprinkle Four Cheese Topping
Scatter the grated cheeses over the entire tart and season with salt and pepper or garlic pepper seasoning to taste.
Flaky, Buttery, Creamy Goodness
Place the tart in the oven and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden brown and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for about 5-10 minutes.
Slice and serve warm with a green salad and a glass of crisp white wine. Delectable.
Bistro-Style Beef Stew with Red Wine, Smoked Paprika and Orange Zest
On a recent excursion to Williams-Sonoma, I discovered some lovely braising bases that piqued my interest. I wanted to make a hearty beef stew and thought the Beef Stew Braising base would be a perfect starter for my masterpiece. This hearty blend of ripe tomatoes, fire-roasted red peppers and premium dark beer has a rich, complex flavor and is a great base for the beef stew with your own additions. I simply added some crispy bacon, sauteed shallots and garlic, chunks of potato, carrots and beef. I then added some additional flavor by stirring in some hearty red wine, a sprinkle of orange zest and smoked paprika, along with some herbes de provence and fresh thyme.
The orange zest gives the stew a hint of bright flavor, and goes well with the smoky paprika, red wine and shallots. I also added a sprinkling of Awake-a-Steak seasoning – a robust blend of gourmet spices and fresh roasted coffee. The result? A rich, hearty, deliciously slow-cooked pot of goodness – perfect for a chilly Winter day. Just let all the ingredients braise in the pot in the oven to release the savory layers of flavor into a thick beefy stew that is sure to warm your toes. Serve the stew in large soup bowls along with crusty French bread to mop up the sauce, complemented by a big glass of red wine (Cotes du Rhone or Cotes de Provence are a perfect match and also used in the stew). Now this is what I call comfort food - Enjoy!
1 – 4 lb boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2-2 inch pieces
3 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
5-6 slices thick-cut hickory smoked bacon
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 large shallots, quartered
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into large chunks
4 large carrots, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
1 8.5 oz jar Williams-Sonoma Beef Stew Braising Base
1 cup red wine (Cotes du Rhone)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp tomato paste
4-6 strips of orange zest
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp Awake-a-Steak Seasoning (Instant Gourmet)
2 tsp herbes de Provence
1-2 tbsp dried fines herbes (or fresh chopped chervil, tarragon, parsley and chives), for garnish
5-6 springs fresh thyme, for garnish
Place a rack in the lower position of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Preheat a large saute pan and get a Dutch oven prepared to cook the stew.
Carve the roast into 1 1/2-2 inch chunks, trimming any large, visible pieces of fat. Place the beef chunks in a large baking sheet lined with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
Peel and cut the potatoes and carrots into 1 1/2 to 2 inch chunks.
Peel and quarter the shallots and chop the garlic cloves. Shave 4-6 strips of orange peel with a peeler, slice into finer strips if desired.
Fry the bacon slices until crisp and drain on paper towels, set aside until cooled. Chop or crumble into 1/2 inch pieces.
In the same saute pan, saute the shallots in 2 tbsp bacon drippings over medium-high heat until they begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add the minced garlic along with some salt and pepper, and saute for 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, removed shallots and garlic and set aside with the bacon.
Add 1 tbsp of oil to the pan and saute the beef in a single layer in batches, being careful not to crowd or overcook, approximately 10 minutes per batch, until beef is browned on all sides. Add additional oil as necessary in between batches. When all beef is sauteed, transfer to a large Dutch oven.
Add the bacon, shallots and garlic, orange zest, herbs and spices to the Dutch oven with the beef.
Add the carrots and potatoes and stir together.
Add the tomato paste, red wine, water and Beef Stew Braising Base to the pot and stir all ingredients together and bring to a simmer.
Cover the pot tightly with aluminum foil and place the lid on top. Transfer to the oven and bake until beef is fork-tender for about 3 hours.
Stir the stew after about an hour, and then again after 2 hours, recovering the pot with the aluminum foil and lid.
Check the stew for desired consistency: if the stew is too thick, add an additional 1/4 cup of water to the last 15 minutes of cooking. If the stew seems too thin, make a slurry of flour and water and whisk into the stew for thickening. Season the finished stew with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with a sprinkle of fines herbes and sprigs of thyme. Enjoy with a loaf of crusty French bread and a big glass of hearty red wine (Cotes du Rhone). Fantastique!
Other Beef Stew Recipes you may enjoy:
Paula Deen’s Old-Time Beef Stew
Pioneer Woman’s Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika
Epicurious Irish Beef Stew
Jacques Pepin Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce
Martha Stewart Beef Stew
This lovely braised dish is the perfect remedy for a cold Winter evening, slow cooked and full of goodness. The recipe calls for chicken thighs which are braised in white wine, and chock full of healthy veggies such as fennel, shallots, carrots, garlic and thyme. Add some crunchy fried pancetta to the mix and you’ve got an amazing twist on the classic Coq au Vin recipe, which is normally made with the addition of mushrooms, red wine or brandy. Top off the dish with the savory pan sauce, lemon zest and some fresh parsley and fines herbes and you’ve got yourself a hearty dinner that is sure to please a crowd for a dinner party or just you and your significant other when you’re tucked away from the cold. Serve with a crisp white wine (such as Dry Reisling, which is used in this recipe) and some crusty garlic bread. YUM!
1/4 cup olive oil
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 lbs)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
7 oz. pancetta, diced (1 heaping cup)
8 medium shallots, lobes separated and halved
4 medium carrots, cut into 3/4 inch thick slices
1 small bulb fennel, cored, trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch dice
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 springs fresh flat leaf parsley
4 springs fresh thyme
1-2 bay leaves
2 cups dry fruity wine, Alsatian or German dry Reisling
2 cups chicken broth (low-sodium)
1 cup water mixed with 1 tbsp Knorr’s Chicken Flavor Base
2 tbsp thickening flour
1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest, for pan sauce
dash of fennel fronds, for pan sauce
dash of chopped thyme, for pan sauce
1 tbsp dried fines herbes (tarragon, chives, parsley, chervil)
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and place rack in bottom third of oven, tall enough to fit a large Dutch oven.
Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a 7-8 quart Dutch oven over medium high heat. Season the chicken with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Arrange the chicken slices skin side down in the pot in a single layer and sear, flipping once until golden brown all over, about 10-13 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Meanwhile, chop the pancetta into a dice and the vegetables for browning.
Cook the pancetta in the pot until well browned all over, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour off and discard the fat, reserving 1 tablespoon.
Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Cook the shallots, carrots, and fennel, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until its aroma subsides, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay leaves together in a small cheesecloth sachet and add the herb bundle to the pot, along with the wine.
Simmer briskly, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen the brown bits.
Add the chicken broth to the pot and stir for a few minutes, allowing the herb essence to infuse the broth.
Return the chicken and pancetta to the pot, arranging the chicken in a single layer. Bring to a simmer and cover, transfer to the oven.
Braise the chicken until the meat is fork-tender and just starting to come away from the bone, 30-45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter or large dish with a slotted spoon and tent with foil.
Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the sauce in the pot, whisking to dissolve, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce sauce to approximately 2 cups about 15 minutes, until thickened.
Stir in the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Throw in a few fennel fronds and chopped thyme leaves and stir. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley and fines herbes. Serve with a glass of crisp, dry white wine and some crusty garlic bread to mop up the sauce. ENJOY.
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking One-Pot Meals, Fall 2011.