Thursday, February 2, 2017

Savoury Parmesan Green Bean Potato Pie

At this time of the year, I make a thorough investigation of our freezer, checking to see what produce remains from the fall harvest. Ah, lots of green beans! Rachel Roddy, a Rome-based food writer and cookbook author, offers an enticing collection of homey, delicious, inexpensive, and uncomplicated recipes. The sundry produce from our potager found on the larder shelves/potted-herb window sill and in the root cellar/freezer often wind up in her recipes. Her inspirational approach to get you cooking includes wonderful stories of people enjoying precious moments and her encouraging to relish the process of cooking while experimenting to see what suits your individual taste which is exactly what I have done with this pie as I have included lemon zest (The Calm One serendipitously brought home a batch of untreated lemons), dried tomatoes from our garden, and parsley (the only herb on the sill). Think of what you have on hand to make this accommodating dish.

A hearty & easy-to-make breadcrumb crust presents a contrasting crunch

Ingredients
makes 6 ample servings

  • Potatoes, boiled in their skins, peeled, riced, 500g/18 dry oz
  • Green beans, cooked, roughly chopped, 450g/16 dry oz
  • Parmesan, freshly grated, 100g/3.5 dry oz
  • Eggs, 3
  • Tomatoes, sun-dried, rehydrated, finely chopped, 1 T
  • Parsley, flat-leaf, fresh, minced, 1 tsp and extra for garnishing
  • Lemon zest, finely grated from an untreated lemon (reserve some strips for garnishing), 1 tsp
  • Olive oil
  • Breadcrumbs, fine, about 16 T
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 177 degrees C/350 degrees F. Get cracking those eggs!


Lightly whisk eggs in a bowl big enough to hold the finished mixture.


Add the potatoes, chopped beans, lemon zest, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan, parsley. Mix well and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Lightly oil the sides and bottom of the pan (20 cm/8 inch round) and remember to grease where the sides and bottom meet.

Want to make your own breadcrumbs? Instructions are in this post

Spoon the mixture into the crumbed pan. Level and press down the filling with the back of a spoon/spatula.


Top with a thickish layer of crumbs and sprinkle well with olive oil. I sprinkled less than well, using just a tablespoon of oil. Next time I will be more generous with the sprinkling since it will not only add richness and flavour, but also will tame the crumbly nature of a breadcrumb crust. Another method would be to mix oil and crumbs in a bowl till well-moistened before placing them onto the filling.


Bake 50-60 minutes till lightly puffed and browned. Let cool for twenty minutes. Garnish with lemon peel and parsley. Either slice right in the pan or if the pan has a removable bottom, loosen edges of the pie with a narrow, flexible spatula/knife and gingerly push up from the bottom with a hand, lifting it out on its own platter. An astuce: aim for upwardly slanting a part of the pan's bottom onto the rim which will serve as support over which the entire pie can slide onto the other hand, palm-side-up of course.


This pie with its cheesy, eggy taste and creaminess (thanks to the potatoes) is both satisfying and comforting. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Having enjoyed the tasty simplicity of this dish so much, I am devising a list of ingredients for another one: chopped, roasted sweet red pepper (there's an ample amount from the fall harvest in the freezer) instead of the green beans along with swapping the herb fennel (now rising from wintry muck) for the parsley, and adding garlic. How even nicer it would be made with potatoes from our potager!


À la prochaine!

RELATED POSTS (other Rachel Roddy recipes that I have made)

Roasted Sweet Red Peppers and Tomatoes
Italian Pasta and Beans
Pasta and Potatoes Minestra