Chard pie with roasted beetroot
This is a recipe that I was given during a belated 'gap year' that Karl and I took in 2010. While we were in Australia, we spent a couple of weeks working on a farm in exchange for bed and board, via HelpX (it’s like a work-away scheme). The family we stayed with were unbelievably nice and welcoming, and we learned all sorts from milking cows and growing herbs to driving tractors (amazing) and tightrope walking (which neither of us got the hang of at all, unsurprisingly). More on all that here.
We also had some brilliant food, and one of the most memorable meals for us was a ‘pie’ made using silverbeet, which we know as chard. Now, we usually make it with spinach instead as that’s much more widely available, but we ended up with a couple of bunches of chard from our Abel & Cole box so we decided to go back to the original. Roasted beetroot makes a lovely accompaniment.
I’m afraid the recipe is all in cups as that’s how I was given it – to be honest, it’s more important to just get the proportions right rather than the exact measurements, so just do as I do and choose a vessel…perhaps a big teacup or a petite mug or a dinky bowl or you get the idea.
a bunch or two of chard (or spinach), chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups milk
1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup grated cheese
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 200C and grease an ovenproof dish (a pie dish, or similar).
Fry onions until they’re just starting to brown. Meanwhile, steam your spinach. If, like me, you are a little bit lazy and like to save on washing up, fry your onions for a couple of minutes and then just bung all your chopped leaves on top and put a lid on so that the onions fry at the bottom of the pan and the leaves steam on top. It works, and you’re going to mix it all together afterwards anyway.
In a bowl, beat the eggs and add the milk and flour. Season. The mixture will be quite thin, this is fine.
Add the grated cheese, onion and chard and stir everything together.
Pour into a greased oven dish.
Bake for 45 minutes on the middle shelf – it will puff up, and after you’ve taken it out it will sink back down. This is normal.
For the beetroot, just peel, chop into quarters, toss in olive oil, salt, pepper and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (or more if you’re feeling adventurous) and pop into the oven for 30-40 minutes.