While visiting family on Saturday, I came across her classic, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest book! I’ve been aware of this book forever, but I had never read it before. I have to say I’m smitten. I love her writing, her illustrations, and her amazing recipes. But mostly I love that when she writes them, there is always room for improvisation which she wholeheartedly encourages. She fully communicates the joy of making tasty, healthy food, being creative with it, and eating it!
There are a ton of things I want to make from the book. There are fabulous dressings, dips, bread, vegetable, salad, and soup recipes I know I will be making in the future.
The other night, I made the Onion Sour Cream Pie, but changed it up a bit. I made the walnut crust as a base. For the filling, I omitted the sour cream (because I can’t eat it) and substituted ricotta cheese in its place. I also omitted the lemon juice and added thyme as a seasoning.
The result was a flavorful savory pie with a nutty, wonderfully crumbly crust. It was very much like an onion quiche but more rustic. This pie would also be good with some sauteed mushrooms in the filling! We ate our slices with crisp green salads which perfectly complimented the buttery, nutty, cheesy richness of the pie.
Onion and Cheese Pie with Walnut Crust adapted from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen
For the Walnut Crust:
1/2 cup finely minced walnuts (I used a food processor and stopped before it became nut butter.)
a dash of salt
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups flour
3-5 tablespoons ice water
1. Process the nuts, salt, butter and flour in a food processor, pulsing several times to mix up.
2. While processor is running, drizzle in ice water. When dough starts to come together, stop machine.
3. Dump dough out onto floured board and roll out into a circle to fit a pie dish. Transfer to pie dish and crimp edges. Chill until ready to fill.
For the onion filling:
3 tablespoons butter
4 1/2 cups onion, thinly sliced
dash of salt
dash of thyme
2 tablespoons flour
a couple tablespoons water
3/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup shredded cheddar
1 whole egg
1 egg, separated
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Saute onions in butter in skillet on stove over medium heat. Season with salt and thyme until soft. Add flour to thicken. Cook until onions are soft. Add water a little bit at a time to prevent too much sticking to the pan. Set aside to cool a bit.
3. Mix yogurt, ricotta, cheddar, one egg, and one egg yolk (reserving egg white in a separate bowl) together in food processor until smooth. (I used the same unwashed bowl that I processed the crust ingredients in!) Transfer to a big bowl.
4. Stir sauteed onions into dairy mixture.
5. Brush crust with some of the saved egg white. Pour onion mixture into crust.
6. Bake for 45 minutes.