Just a few days ago I shared with you my Christmas Canapés! They went down a treat at our first Christmas party, but I’m sure you’ll all agree a few blinis won’t fill anyone up.
As my family has gotten older and all of the children have become adults in their own rights, the choice of food at our Christmas buffets has gone from chicken nuggets and slices of pizza, to cheeseboards, blinis and quiches.
This year we thought we’d reduce the amount of food that comes out of the freezer even more, and I wanted to cook something that would look impressive in the centre of the table and would be great for sharing.
After flicking through countless food magazines dedicated to Christmas party food, I settled on a Spinach and Ricotta pie from the Good Food Magazine.
I’ve adapted it here and there. Changed the quantities slightly and changed the method to show what worked well for me. The pie truly was a show stopper and everyone loved the simple flavours and crisp pastry.
I definitely think the way forward for Christmas buffets is a combination of mini-bites (like the blinis) and a dish that can be shared by all, where guests can cut a slice to the size they want, or come back for seconds!
Another good thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t just have to be confined to Christmas buffets – we also hold parties in the summer, and I’m sure this recipe will be making a comeback then. It would also do well for a large dinner with friends.
Whenever you choose to make it, just be sure to have plenty of time to prepare it, and a large dish in which to cook it.
Spinach and Ricotta Pie
This vegetarian Spinach and Ricotta Pie is the perfect centre piece for a Christmas buffet.
- 50 grams butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 killogram spinach
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 500 grams ricotta
- 2 egg yolks
- 150 grams parmesan finely grated
- 1 killogram ready-made puff pastry
- 1 large egg beaten, to glaze the pastry
- flour for dusting
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4.
Melt the butter in a pan with the oil. Finely chop the onions and then fry until soft.
Put these in a large mixing bowl for the time being and allow them to cool.
Taking half a bag at a time put the spinach into the pan and place on the lid.
Let the spinach wilt for 2mins before giving a stir around, placing the lid back on and letting it wilt for another 2 mins.
Remove the spinach from the pan and place in a colander.
Let it cool for a few mins before squeezing out as much excess liquid as you can!
Once squeezed dry chop finely and place in the bowl along with the onions.
Repeat this process until all of onion is wilted.
Stir in the nutmeg, egg yolks, ricotta and parmesan.
Season well and give the mixture a stir until fully combined.
Roll out the first pack of pastry until it is as thick as a £1 coin and perfectly rectangle and place this onto a sheet of grease proof paper.
Spoon the spinach and ricotta mix onto the pastry leaving a border of roughly 3 inches.
Roll out the second pack of pastry so that it is larger than the first.
Brush the edges of the first pack of pastry with a little egg yolk and then lay the second pack over the top.
Take a fork and press the top piece of pastry into the second piece of pastry to seal it. (Alternatively you could crimp the edges by hand.)
Score the top of the pie in a large criss-cross pattern and then finally brush it all over with the last of the beaten egg.
Slide the pie onto a baking sheet and place in the oven to bake for 40-50mins or until golden brown all over.
Once it’s out of the oven let it rest for 10mins then serve while still warm.