Spinach Ricotta Picnic Pie

This spinach ricotta pie is the ultimate summer picnic comfort food.  This tart is beautiful when it is cut up after it is cooled down as it exposes the hard boiled eggs and is ideal for outdoor entertaining.

Although the number of eggs in this recipe seem a lot, you can omit the hard boiled eggs but the idea is to cut it up into slices rather than chunks and serve with salads and other side dishes.
Filo Ricotta Spinach Pie 1

You will need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 kilo frozen spinach 
a bunch of fresh parsley
a pinch of nutmeg
500g ricotta [irkotta]
150g grated cheese[I use Gibna Roll]
5 eggs
5  hard boiled eggs
1/4 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
salt and pepper
1 packet filo pastry
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
4 tablespoons olive oil


Dried mature gozitan gbejna and ricotta [Gibniet/Irkotta]

The filling

Defrost the spinach and leave to drain in a collander.  Keep squeezing out the water.

In a large pan shallow fry the chopped onion in some olive oil on moderate heat until it is translucent.  Add the chopped spinach and stir just until it is heated through for a minute or 2.  Add the dried mixed herbs, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.  Stir and remove from heat to retain the some vibrancy in the colour of the spinach.  Allow to cool down completely.

In a large bowl place the ricotta.  Add the grated gbejna and eggs.  Season.

Mix well and add the cooled down spinach mixture.  Mix again until it appears consistent.



Open up the filo pastry and brush a deep cake tin [I use an angel cake tin with a hollow centre so that the pie cooks evenly] with olive oil.

Cover with a sheet of filo pastry, then lightly brush the surface of the pastry sparsely with some more olive oil, add a second layer of filo pastry, brush again lightly with olive oil and add a third layer.

Add the tart filling into the pastry case and flatten the surface using a large metal spoon.

Push down gently the whole hard cooked eggs into the filling, one next to the other.  Make sure that they sit in the middle of the filling rather than touching the bottom so that the egg slices are centred once you bake and slice it.   Flatten the surface of the filling again then bring together the overlapping pastry and cover up thet op of the pie.

If necessary use another sheet of filo pastry to cover the top by scrunching it up lightly and then brushing with olive oil.

Scatter some sesame seeds on top.

Cook in a preheated oven at 180C for 50 minutes to an hour.




Gibniet nixfa

I use ricotta and fresh mature gbejna [gibniet] by Hanini distributed by Whats in Store
Kitchenware by Tescoma
Photos: Felix Cesare and Stefan Stafrace