15 December 2010

Greek style three-cheese & bacon filo pie - and Christmas salad

Yes, that is one heck of a title for a pie - but I can't think how I'd describe it otherwise!

It began life as a BBC Good Food recipe for "Ham & Blue Cheese Tart", but has grown and developed since then.  For instance, our preference is for cooked bacon rather than ham and because of son's sensitivity to blue cheese, I include a little cheddar and leave his part of the pie free of the blue.

I'm so glad that Sainsbury's had Springform tins on special offer the other day - and that hubby spotted them and got one!  Without the Springform, this was so much more difficult to produce.  It is achievable - for instance you could use a casserole dish to form the pie in, then carefully remove it and place it on a baking tray to cook.  However, if you've got a Springform, it's definitely my method of choice.

The Christmas Salad was my first go at such a thing.  I thought about what colours say "Christmas" and put together salad items that conformed to that concept.  I would have included beetroot if I'd have had any.  So, we had Little Gem lettuce, cucumber, spring onion, cherry tomatoes, orange segments and pomegranate seeds, all dressed with a lemon and olive oil dressing.  It was lovely with the rich pie and definitely something I'd do again.

I have to admit though, that I completely forgot to include the pine nuts.  Now I've made a version with pine nuts - and now one without - and I must say, that the difference was minimal.  So, if you're watching the pennies - you wouldn't be compromising on flavour if you left them out.

Closeup to illustrate the salad - which was really lovely

Ingredients :

6-10 sheets filo pastry, depending on size
1 & 2 tbsp olive oil
a pack of smoked back bacon, diced
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
300g tub soft cheese, room temperature
2 large handfuls of rocket leaves
50g blue cheese, crumbled (I use Stilton)
20g cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbsp pine nuts, chopped roughly

Method :

1.  Heat oven to 180C/fan160C/gas 4.

2.  In a frying pan, cook the bacon in the one tbsp olive oil until beginning to crisp, then set aside to cool.

2.  Brush each filo sheet with the remaining oil (reserving just a little) and layer into a 20cm springform tin, overlapping each sheet at a different angle, but leaving one sheet separate.

3.  In a large bowl, combine the soft cheese and eggs, then add the spring onions, cheddar cheese, bacon and finally the rocket.  Season with pepper and just a touch of salt.

4.  Pour the egg mixture into the filo case and spread to level.

5.  Sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese and pine nuts.

6.  Lay the final Filo piece over the top, then fold the sides down to create a crust.  Brush with a little oil and place into the oven to bake for 30 minutes or until just set and the pastry is golden brown.

7.  Cool slightly before serving.

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