These are pies or puffs which have pastry on the bottom ONLY. I would normally make my own pastry however I was in a hurry this day, so I used a bought one.
These pastries could be made smaller for party food, hot or cold.
The flavours of ricotta, mushrooms, and bacon worked very well together and I teamed this with a beetroot salad.
I have made my own beetroot, however you could use tinned beetroot if you prefer.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (if cooking your own beetroot)
Ingredients For the pies ½ bunch English spinach
200 g ricotta
30 g Parmesan, grated
2 mushrooms (I used field mushrooms)
Small egg, lightly beaten
4 shortcut bacon rashers, chopped
Small shallot, sliced thinly
Garlic clove, crushed
1 sheet frozen Puff Pastry, thawed
½ eggplant, sliced
For beetroot salad 1½ medium beetroots
About 10 g butter
½ caraway seeds
½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp chives (optional)
Method For the pie
Grill the eggplant with a bit of oil under a grill till it gets soft and is cooked.
Preheat the oven to 220°/200° fan forced. Put some baking paper on a tray.
Trim the stalks off the English spinach and blanch it for a minute or so in boiling water. Drain, and when cool enough, squeeze out all the water.
Heat a bit of oil in a frying pan and cook the bacon pieces, onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, or to your liking.
Combine the spinach with the ricotta, Parmesan, chopped mushrooms and the egg, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Stir the bacon mixture into the ricotta mixture.
Cut the pastry sheet into four pieces, and I rolled mine out a bit to make the pastry a bit thinner.
Put them on the baking tray, and lay one or two pieces of eggplant on each one.
Add the ricotta /spinach mixture on top, leaving about 2 cm around the edges.
Fold the edge uncovered pastry up around the filling.
Brush the pastry with some milk and bake them for about 12 - 15 minutes or until they are starting to go brown.
For beetroot salad
Cook the beetroot in water for about 45 minutes or until tender.
When they are cooked, pour the water into a Tupperware or similar, and let the beetroot cool.
When it is cool enough to handle, top and tail it, and peel off the skin, and discard.
Using only that amount required for this recipe, grate, or chop finely into very small pieces.
Melt the butter over a medium heat and cook the onion and caraway seeds.
Cook for about five minutes or till the onion is soft.
Add the beetroot, vinegar and sour cream.
Cook for another five minutes.
Add some salt and pepper to taste.
Serve as a side to the pies.
I had some of the spinach mixture left over and I ate this for lunch the next day.
Make a whole bunch of beetroot and slice the balance into the reserved liquid, add some vinegar and use in sandwiches or with a main meal - they last for ages in the fridge.