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Vegan Spinach Pie with ‘Ricotta’


  • Author: Maša Ofei
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Bake Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6*

Description

This vegan spinach pie using homemade vegan tofu ricotta is a great family meal that can be eaten warm or cold. It’s a great nutritious recipe that can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!


Ingredients

  • 200g / 7.05 ounces firm tofu
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil (plus extra for brushing fillo)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 34 cups / 150g / 5.29 ounces silverbeet / chard,* washed, drained, and roughly chopped with white stems removed (save for another dish)
  • ¼ cup / 18g nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup / 110g coconut cream (or vegan unsweetened plain yoghurt)
  • 1 cup / 250ml water (warm to room temperature is best)
  • ¼ cup / 60ml aquafaba,* whisked (chickpea water)
  • 290g / 10.22 ounces fillo dough (around 1516 sheets)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, crumble the tofu quite fine using your hands.
  2. Add in the lemon juice and salt and stir well. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius (390 degrees Fahrenheit).
  4. To a large skillet on medium-high heat, add one tablespoon of the oil, onion and saute until they’re golden. This will take a few minutes.
  5. Add in the silverbeet (also known as chard) to the skillet and cook until it has just wilted.
  6. Add it to the tofu and follow in with the nutritional yeast, baking powder, coconut cream, and water. Mix until just combined.
  7. Fold in the whisked aquafaba (it should be foamy). 
  8. Oil a medium square baking dish (mine is 24cmx24cm or 9.5inches x 9.5inches) and layer two sheets of the fillo pastry, creating an + (cross-section) with it, oiling the dough in between.
  9. Scrunch up one sheet of pastry into the filling mixture and make sure it’s immersed in the filling. Bring the dough over to the baking dish (with some filling) and start to fill it with the soaked sheets. I normally get 4 in each layer. (See photos earlier in the post for visual help if needed.)
  10. Repeat this process for one sheet at a time until you have only two sheets of fillo left. If you have any extra filling, pour this evenly over the top.
  11. Bring in the overhanging filo from the sides of the baking dish over the pie. Wrapping it like a parcel, brush it with some oil.
  12. Lay one of the sheets of the remaining fillo, brushing it with oil, tucking it in to make sure that it completely covers the top. I like to use my pastry brush to do so. Do the same with the last sheet of fillo and brush with more oil over the top and make sure that the pastry is tucked in well. 
  13. Place in the oven to bake for around 45-50 minutes or until golden brown on the top (if your dish is bigger, it will need less time). Now either place foil on the top, or if you have a setting on your oven that allows heat to only come from the bottom of the oven, turn that on for 10 minutes to make sure that the bottom of the pie isn’t undercooked.
  14. Remove from the oven and let it cool for about 20-30 minutes before cutting and serving. You can also wait for it to completely cool. The slices will hold their shape better (all images were photographed when the pie was almost cold).
  15. Enjoy it on its own or with a side salad.

Notes

Yield: Serves 4 people as a main and 6 as a side or appetiser.

Silverbeet or chard: I like to use silverbeet (aka swiss chard, chard or even rainbow chard) in this dish as it’s a more robust leafy green compared to its spinach counterpart. You would need more volume with spinach as it weighs less. I just remove the stems and save them for another dish.

Aquafaba: Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. Strain the chickpeas and store them for later use. You want the liquid from this to whip. It acts in a similar way to egg whites.

  • Diet: Vegan