This spinach pie has a light and airy texture thanks to a key secret ingredient | tchakayiti.com

A light and airy spinach pie

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We sometimes harvest local spinach in our backyard. Naturally, this means that, more often than not, this vegetable finds its way into my kitchen. And I have grown fond of it through the years. Such was not always the case, however. 

Throughout our childhood, our parents struggled to get my siblings and I to eat spinach.  In Haiti, our spinach boast big leaves | Tchakayiti

They had to resort to all kinds of tricks to get us to finish the spoonful they put on our plate. Their most favorite convincing tactic involved Popeye. 

“Eat your spinach so you can have bibit (arm muscles) like Popeye” –  was a common phrase at our family table.

If you grew up watching that cartoon, you understand how it became my parents’ secret weapon. The muscled character, Popeye, got his strength from eating an overload of spinach. Obsessed with that cartoon and the idea of having strong arm muscles like him,  my older brother always fell for that bribe. But I didn’t. I simply didn’t find arm muscles to be appealing. I, thus, dismissed that vegetable altogether.

Fast forward a few years later, here I am sharing a spinach pie with the world. Don’t ask me when this vegetable and I made peace. I have no clue. But I definitely enjoy it from time to time.

I must, however, say that I don’t quite prepare my spinach like most Haitian households do.

See, in Haiti, we tend to overcook our spinach. When it finds its way on our table as a side dish, it’s most often served as a flavorful but mushy buttery green dish. Such a presentation does not always make for an appealing plate, in my humble opinion. Plus, regardless of the amount of spinach bought, with that preparation, there’s never enough for all the dinner guests.

I, thus, always look for new ways to enjoy my spinach, which explains today’s spinach pie.

Served this way, this vegetable makes for a happy table. Try it for yourself. And get back to me in the comment box below 😉

Light and airy spinach pie

I did not invent the spinach pie. But I did decide on a whim to fluff the filling with an egg white all the while keeping the recipe simple. I cook the spinach in garlic and butter enhanced with pickled shallots, salt, pepper, a hint of cayenne and mustard. The creaminess comes from a generous amount of cream. Feel free to adjust the seasoning to taste.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2-3 garlic heads chopped
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • 1 bunch of spinach chopped
  • Pickled shallots
  • 1-2 tsp mustard
  • ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 15 cl of cream
  • 1 egg white
  • Prepared pastry puff or pie crust

Instructions

  1. In a heated pan, melt the better
  2. Add the garlic and toast slightly
  3. Incorporate the chopped spinach and toss with thongs to coat evenly with the butter
  4. Season with the salt, pepper and cayenne
  5. Once the spinach starts wilting, add the cream and mustard
  6. Toss to mix well and add the shallots
  7. Turn off heat and let the mixture cool
  8. Whip an egg white to form soft peaks
  9. Fold the whites into the cooled spinach mixture
  10. Transfer to your prepared pastry crust
  11. Bake according to the pastry’s cooking instructions
  12. Serve warm or cold

Recipe Notes

I only cook the spinach halfway before mixing in the cream. This allows the spinach to maintain its texture so it doesn’t turn into a blob.

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