Three Cheese and Wheat Berry Spinach Pie

In Russian, I would have said it’s a savory zapekanka. But I doubt that everyone is familiar with the meaning of this word. So, let’s call it a crustless cheese pie (it could have had a crust but I decided not to bother). You can toss in any cheese combo you like or have on hand; that’s what I’ve done here. The pie is great warm, but I don’t mind eating chilled leftovers either.

In case you are wondering if I’m done with sweets for good, I can reassure you there are some sweet posts coming. I was baking too much during holidays and now I’m taking a break and enjoy cooking more.

Makes one 9-inch pie, about 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wheat berries (usually available in bulk at natural/ health food section), soaked in cold water overnight
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 10 oz spinach (fresh of frozen), steamed or cooked in salted water, drained, cooled, squeezed dry
  • ½ cup fresh flat- leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 30 oz whole milk ricotta cheese (if you are making a crust for this pie, the ricotta has to be drained overnight in a cheese cloth-lined sieve; otherwise – it’s not necessary )
  • 3 oz smoked mozzarella, grated
  • 2 oz Pecorino Romano (use Parmesan if the sheep milk cheese is not your thing ), grated, plus a bit more for the top of the pie
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly whisked
  • 1 heaped tsp kosher salt
  • 1 scant tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • About a tbsp melted butter and around ¼ cup dry bread crumbs for coating a pan

Preparation:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 375F. Generously butter a 9-inch springform pan and coat the sides and the bottom with the dry bread crumbs. Set aside.

Cook the wheat berries in salted water until tender, for about 20 minutes. Rinse under cold water, drain well, and transfer to a large bowl.

In a skillet, over medium heat, sauté the onions in the olive oil and butter until the onions are soft and golden. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute, stirring. Cool slightly, transfer to the bowl with the wheat berries. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to thoroughly combine. Transfer the mixture into the prepared springform pan, smooth the top. Sprinkle a little bit of extra grated cheese over the top. Place the springform pan onto a shallow baking/ cookie sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for 45 minutes until set, then turn the oven off and turn the broil on. Broil for a couple of minutes until the top is nicely brown. Transfer the pie to a rack, cool for 10 minutes. Then unmold. Serve warm.

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23 Responses to “Three Cheese and Wheat Berry Spinach Pie”

  1. Wheat berries are one of my new favorite ingredients! This looks great.

  2. A scrumptious looking pie! Wonderful!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. WoW!!! Cheese and spinac in a pie!! Delicious!!

    ana

  4. I love the combination of spinach and cheese, yum! You’ve made me curious about the real zapekanka now ;)
    I know what you mean about not baking a lot of sweet stuff right now ;)

  5. This looks amazing. I think it would make a great brunch item. I have been enjoying your savory recipes.

  6. Wow that looks good. The photo made me want to reach into the monitor for a piece!

    It’s nice to take a break from baking, I think – recharges the batteries. :)

    Kate

  7. Looks awesome. Just the kind of thing I would love to eat, especially due to that spinach/cheese combo. So, is there such a thing as a sweet zapekanka?

  8. so…what’s better than cheese? three cheese, of course. your pie is perfect–its texture looks simply amazing.

  9. I love it when you do savories…always perfect and enticing! This pie is a beauty!

  10. Very interesting… I’ve made egg and spinach pie before but I would have never considered adding wheatberries to the mix.

  11. Oh wow – that looks fantastic! Cheese? Yum. Spinach? YUM. Wheat berries? YUM! Gorgeous!

  12. Your photos are just gorgeous.

  13. this must be so tasty and healthy!

  14. You do both sweet and savoury so well. This pie looks amazing.

  15. This looks beyond perfect for dinner. I’m always looking for a way to jazz up our vegetarian diet. This is sophisticated comfort food all the way and I know my boys would devour this.

  16. I’m not usually big on savouries but this one looks yummy!!

  17. Sweet or savory I’ll be on the lookout for new stuff from you :)

  18. Cate, thank you! I love them, too.

    Rosa, thank you!

    Ana, thank you very much!

    Linda, thank you! The most common zapekanka is a combination of farmer cheese, eggs, sugar, and raisins (or other dry fruits); it’s eaten warm with sour cream.

    Kate, thank you! I would gladly share it with you :)

    Y, thanks! The sweet one is the most well-known; curd cheese, eggs, and sugar – that’s what it is :)

    Grace, thank you! You are so right, the more cheese – the merrier.

    Helen, thank you very much!

    Jen, thank you! The berries make it more substantial; the whole meal in one pie idea :)

    CookiePie, thank you!

    Joie, thanks a lot!

    Aran, thank you! It was tasty, and I hope – healthy :)

    Dragon, thank you so much! I also knit very well :)

    Camille, thank you very much! My boy liked it :)

    Christy, thank you! Once you get a family, you have to cook as well :) Otherwise, I would live off of ice cream :)

    Jude, thank you! I’m looking forward to your future visits :)

  19. This looks beautiful Vera! It is so deep.. I love that!

  20. Laurie, thank you!

  21. What are wheat berries????

  22. Cielo, wheat berries are whole wheat kernels which have had their husks removed.

  23. vera , i wanted to try it , but i dont get few of the ingrediants here in bangalore wat to da , sad na shwetha bangalore india

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