Friday, 24 May 2019

Russian Fish & Spring Greens Pie

After several years of abuse, my French sorrel appears to be recovering nicely. This is a plant - herb? vegetable? - that I get to like more and more. Of course, now I want to move it again.

If you are not growing it yourself, sorrel will be hard to find. You can use all spinach, and throw in a tablespoon of lemon juice to replace the tart zing of the missing sorrel, but if you have any garden space at all, I recommend planting a little patch.

Use any standard pastry for this. I would have made my favourite biscuity crust, but I was out of buttermilk so it was more like this one. If it calls for around 2 cups of flour it will be quite sufficient. 

6 servings
2 hours - 1 hour prep time

Russian Fish & Spring Greens Pie

1 recipe pie pastry
2 large eggs
2 cups packed raw spinach
2 cups packed raw sorrel
1/4 cup minced parsley
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons flour
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup 10% cream
75 grams (2 to 3 ounces) strong Cheddar cheese
200 to 225 grams (about 8 ounces) tinned salmon
     OR smoked trout or salmon

Make the pastry. While you make it is a good time to cook the eggs as well - put them in a pot with water to cover them well, and bring them to a boil. Boil them steadily for 1 minute, then cover  them and remove them from the heat. Let them sit for 10 minutes before letting them cool.

Wash, trim, and pick over the spinach and sorrel. Shred them very finely. Put them in a strainer and pour boiling water over them to just wilt them. Squeeze them well to remove as much moisture as you can, then shred them again. Put them in a mixing bowl.

Wash, dry, and mince the parsley and dill. Add them to the spinach and sorrel.

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and season with salt - lightly, keeping in mind the saltiness of the fish and cheese - and pepper, more enthusiastically. Mix in the cream.

Pick over the fish, removing and discarding any skin and bones. Break it into bite-sized chunks. Add it to the vegetables. Grate the cheese and mix about three-quarters of it into the vegetables. Peel the eggs, and chop them. Mix them in as well.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Roll the pastry out into as neat a circle as you can manage on a sheet of (possibly floured) parchment paper, so that it will fill your pie plate with about an inch excess all around. Flip it into the pie plate, centred, and remove the parchment paper from it. Press it to conform to the shape of the dish. Scrape in the filling and spread it out evenly, pressing it down gently. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Fold in the excess pie crust over the pie, pleating it neatly.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is nicely browned. This pie is best served at room temperature, so let it cool completely before serving. If it is made much in advance, it should be covered and refrigerated; bring it out 30 minutes before serving to take the chill off of it.

Last year at this time I made Spinach & Apple Salad with Balsamic Dressing.

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