Delicious, light, flavour-packed spinach and feta terrine, goes perfectly with savoury rice loaded with tomatoes and olives.
My Secret Recipe Club assignment for this month was the absolutely-jam-packed-with-recipes-and-tips Mother Would Know. Laura has so many recipes I plan to try – her crispy baked eggplantis high on my list (as soon as I manage to recall where I can buy panko locally), I know my sweet-toothed carboholic kids are going to love her sweet noodle kugel, and I’ve bookmarked loads more! But today I am going to present you with our new favourite vehicle for spinach and feta, this one in the form of a mold or terrine. Laura adapted her recipe from one for torta di spinaci by the Italian chef Guiliano Hazan. But, being the wise and adventurous woman she is, Laura took into Greek territory.
I made a few small changes to the original recipe, based on what I had on hand and family allergies – if you use butter for the pan instead of olive you will get a crisper crust. I also changed the method just a little, to avoid having to boil and drain the spinach, but my method takes longer.
Leftovers keep, covered in the fridge, for several days
Terrine preparation: 40 minutes
Terrine baking: 50 minutes
Terrine cooling: an hour or so
Rice: 20 minutes
Spinach & feta terrine
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
500g (18 oz) fresh spinach leaves
1 large leek, white and light green part
4 large eggs
125g (about 4 1/2 oz) feta
180g (3/4 cup) Greek yoghurt
1 Tbsp all-purpose (plain) flour
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
pinch salt, if needed
Preheat oven to 175°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Use a little of the oil to well grease a small loaf pan, about 20 x 9cm (8 x 3 1/2″). Add about half of the breadcrumbs to the pan and shake them around to thickly coat the bottom and sides, as you would if flouring a cake pan.
Heat the remaining oil in a large, deep skillet, finely slice the leek and sauté for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the spinach leaves by handfuls, stirring until completely wilted and the pan is dry.
Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl, crumble in the feta and add the yoghurt, flour, parsley and lemon juice. Season well with pepper, and add a pinch of salt if you are using a mild feta, e.g. danish feta.
Add the spinach and leek to the cheese mixture, and stir together well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the remaining breadcrumbs.
Bake in the centre of the oven for about 45 – 50 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack until the pan is cool enough to handle.
Use a fine plastic spatula or knife to loosen the terrine in the pan, then put a cutting board or serving plate on top and flip the whole thing over together in one movement. Remove the pan and slice as desired.
Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate to serve cold.
Tomato and olive rice
1 cup long grain parboiled rice
2 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 Kalamata olives
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
2 medium-large, ripe tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cook rice in the stock according to packet directions – usually it’s 1:2 rice to stock, you bring the stock to the boil, add the rice, cover and cook on minimum heat for 10 – 15 minutes, depending on the brand. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, pit and chop the olives, finely diced the onion and finely chop the garlic. Heat olive oil until shimmering in a skillet and add olives and onion. Cook on low heat until onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes longer.
De-seed and dice the tomatoes, add the the pan, season and stir in parsley, and continue cooking until the tomatoes have softened, around 5 minutes.
Stir through the cooked rice and serve.