We have lots of silverbeet and rainbow chard in our garden. It’s about the only thing we grew this winter, and I kind of forgot about using it until suddenly there was so much I was a bit overwhelmed by it!
I had in mind some kind of silverbeet tart or pie, so I went looking through my recipes books. Have you tried Eat Your Books? It’s the perfect solution for someone like me, with an embarrassingly large collection of cookbooks! It’s an online recipe index with not only the recipes indexed but the ingredients in each recipe too—you add all your recipe books, magazines, even blogs, to your library and then when you are looking for a recipe, you type in the ingredients or type of recipe you’re looking for and it tells you what recipes are in what books, and a list of ingredients required! It’s fantastic!!
In the end, though, I didn’t find quite what I was looking for, so I made it up as I went along. My recipe is loosely based on this recipe, but I have changed it a fair bit, most noticeably by adding lamb! I also added a spice blend from a local middle eastern supermarket. It’s a Lebanese blend of allspice, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, fennel, anise, nutmeg, mahlep and galangal, known as Seven Spices (I know, I know, there are 10!), and it just gave the pie filling a subtle boost of flavour without overwhelming it.
It ended up being a perfect meal, served with a green salad to add some crunch. And I think it would be just as nice with chicken instead of lamb.
Lamb and Silverbeet Parcels
Serves 62 Tbs olive oil 1 large onion, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, crushed 500g lamb mince 1 large bunch of silverbeet or rainbow chard 300g ricotta cheese 100g feta cheese, crumbled grated rind of 1 lemon 1/2 tsp Seven Spices blend or a similar middle eastern spice blend sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 egg, lightly beaten 6 sheets of puff pastry 1 egg, lightly beaten with a splash of water for the pastry wash
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Cut the silverbeet/chard leaves away from the stems. Slice the leaves into ribbons and finely chop the stems.
Fry the onion and garlic gently in about 1 Tbs olive oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until soft and golden.
Add the mince and silverbeet stems and fry until the meat browns. Then add the silverbeet leaves handful by handful, allowing it to wilt between each addition.
Stir through the cheeses and the spice blend, then season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Finally stir the beaten egg through and allow to cool slightly.
Divide the mixture into 6 portions and place each portion in the middle of a square of puff pastry. Fold the corners over each parcel to fully enclose and brush with the egg wash.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Serve immediately.
1. Filo pastry could be used instead of puff pastry. In that case, brush with olive oil or melted butter instead of the egg wash.