Tuesday, September 16, 2014

greens, tofu and artichoke pie.

this pie is one of the most satisfying and crowd-pleasing dishes i've made in a while: healthy, flavorful, and filling. 

the key is knowing how to work with phyllo dough. i've always been intimidated by the thin, fragile sheets that seem to predictably crumble in my fingertips - that is, until i learned that all you need to do is let them thaw at room temperature for about 2 hours before cooking. defrosted phyllo sheets are way more workable and unlikely to fall apart in your hands. it also helps to have a sous chef at your side when layering the sheets atop each other.

this is the kind of pie to serve a non-vegan crowd. the mix of cumin, oregano, toasted pine nuts, and kalamata olives give it a nice kick, and the tofu nutritional yeast combo sufficiently bulks it up. i used swiss chard and arugula for this recipe, but any greens would work well. these ingredients bake inside a warm flaky crust that steams when you remove it from the oven. served it with a simple salad of little gems and tomatoes, it makes for a lovely late summer meal.

greens, tofu and artichoke pie

1/2 red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch swiss chard, chopped finely, stems and leaves separated
2 handfuls arugula or other green
1/2 pound extra-firm tofu
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
2 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. minced Kalamata olives
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
black pepper, to taste
1/2 can quartered artichokes, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
12 sheets phyllo dough, cut in half and thawed
oil in spray bottle

heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. once the oil is hot, sauté the onion, garlic, and chard stems for 3 minutes. add the chard greens and cook until they are completely wilted. set aside.

while the chard cooks, mash or finely chop the tofu. dump the tofu into a big mixing bowl, and add in the nutritional yeast, oregano, lemon juice, olives, cumin, artichokes, pine nuts, and the spinach mixture. mix well. salt and pepper to taste.

preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. lay a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet that is at least 8x8.

once the phyllo dough has been thawing at room temperature for at least an hour, unwrap the dough and cut it in half lengthwise. put half in the fridge, and set the other half beside the baking sheet.

lay a sheet of phyllo atop the parchment paper, spray it lightly with oil, and repeat the process until you have 6 sheets in the bottom of the pan. pour the spinach-tofu filling into the pan, spreading it to completely cover the phyllo. repeat the phyllo process, covering the filling with six more sheets, spraying each one lightly. spray the top sheet of phyllo.

put it in the oven and bake for about a half hour, until the top is lightly browned. cut into squares and enjoy!