Broccoli Ricotta Cheese Pie

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

If you are like me, you probably thought ricotta cheese to be uninteresting. Before being put off by the idea of yet another recipe for using bland ricotta cheese, read on. This one has flavor!

The trick to cooking with ricotta is knowing what to blend it with. This recipe adds tender broccoli florets and just the right amount of herbs to give this pie a wonderful, savory goodness.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ cup white onion (chopped)
2 ½ cups broccoli florets (blanched)
1 tablespoon fresh basil (chopped)
¼ teaspoon fennel seed (crushed)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs (beaten)
2 teaspoons milk
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 refrigerated pie crust dough sticks

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To blanch broccoli florets bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add broccoli to boiling water and cook for 1 ½ to 2 minutes (until slightly cooked through and tender). Carefully remove broccoli from water by draining in a colander and set aside to cool.

In a large skillet, add olive oil and onion and cook over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and stir in broccoli, basil, fennel and salt. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, milk and Parmesan cheese. Add broccoli to this mixture and set aside.

Spray a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray. Roll out one stick of pie dough and line bottom and 3/4 up the side of the pan with dough. Spoon the broccoli-ricotta mixture into the crust. Roll out and tuck the remaining dough stick down inside the pan, pinching to join and seal with side dough. Cut slits in top with knife.

Bake 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Unmold and serve warm or refrigerate and serve later.

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

About Valley Vegetarian

Providing consistently good vegetarian comfort food recipes. Real food for real people.
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