Thursday, September 1, 2011
British-Style Kale and Onion Pie
The Brits are tops at making those charming little pies full of yummy meats and veggies, and it seems like everything tastes better when it's tucked into a cute little fluted crust, doesn't it? Today I decided I'd try to find a more enticing way to serve my family kale, a delicious and healthy green veg that causes my sons to run for the hills. Not only does the piecrust hide the scary green of the filling, but it also adds a great texture to a vegetable that can occasionally remind the eater of limp seaweed. (Did I mention I have one son who's deathly afraid of seaweed touching him in the ocean? Doesn't bode well for him becoming a big fan of cooked greens.)
As I was trolling the internet for some ideas about what to pair the kale with, I came across a delicious recipe from Shaheen at Allotment2Kitchen for Wilted Kale and Chickpea Pies. Apparently they do pies really well in Scotland too! :) Her gorgeous photos reminded me both that I was hungry (a chronic condition), and that I possessed 1 (why only one?) cute little tart pan with a removable bottom that might make it possible for me to whip up something as adorable as her pies. I crossed my fingers and plunged in. (Check out her photos when you have a chance ... they're much prettier than mine.)
As several of us are allergic to white beans, I had to leave the chickpeas out, and I experimented a little with other add-ins like sundried tomatoes and yellow squash, but eventually decided that big pieces of onion and tiny bits of garlic were just enough. The sundried tomatoes were too hard to cut with a fork to eat, and the squash (that I thought would be so cute against the green leaves) was just too mushy. Yuk.
For my crust, I tried the recipe on the back of the package of Bob's Red Mill spelt flour for the first time, and I LOVED it with the kale. I am happy to report that I managed to use my little tart pan properly and my pie came out in one piece. I apologize for the dark photo... it was dinnertime during a rainstorm, and there wasn't quite enough light! If you look closely you can see the fluted edges :)
British-Style Kale and Onion Pie
1 huge bunch of kale (the size they bundle it in the grocery store)
1 large sweet onion
2 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp olive oil
lots of salt and pepper
2 cups plus 4 Tbsp spelt flour
6 Tbsp canola oil
4 - 6 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp. salt
To make the filling, chop the onion in a large dice and saute with garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes in your largest, widest frying pan. Chop the kale a bit, leave the stems behind, and throw by the handful into your pot. This huge pile of greens will cook down and shrink in a few minutes into a lovely mess of vitamins. Stir a few times to mix up the oil and the onions/garlic. Set aside.
For the pie crust, whisk the canola oil, just 4 Tbsp of water and the salt together. Stir in the flour and mix just until blended. Add a little more water if necessary to get the dough to stick together. This amount of dough will make enough for two crusts on three little 5" tarts, or just bottom crusts on six mini springform pans. You may have some filling left over, which tastes great alone too. Bake the pies at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.
(Thank you Shaheen!)
This recipe was shared with Tuesday Time Out at Reasons to Skip the Housework and Wow Me Wednesday at Polka Dots on Parade and Show and Tell Wednesday at Blue Cricket Design and Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace and Wellness Weekend at Diet, Dessert & Dogs and Whole Health Weekend at Nourishing Treasures.