A crunchy crust with a creamy center....quite simply, YUM!!!
Yum is the first thought, and the second is probably, yikes!, not so healthy. The crust is shredded potatoes, and the center is stuffed with kale. I think that's a fairly nice healthy beginning. Now there are eggs and cheese, so if you are vegan, this will not be a recipe for you.
By the way, this is one of my favorite recipes. I don't make it all that often, but I'm so happy when I do :) This is something that I put together for the first time many years ago. The recipe has been tweaked a bit, and I think I finally have something that is just a bout perfect, in my opinion anyway!
I begin by shredding the potatoes, skin and all. The potatoes need to sit in a strainer for at least 20 minutes. During that time, they will begin to express liquid. The potatoes need to be squeezed in order to get rid of as much liquid as possible. This will give you that super crunchy crust that tastes soooo good. To the potatoes, I add 1/4 cup of chopped chives, 1 beaten egg, freshly ground black pepper, and a little freshly ground pink salt.
Once the mixture is together, I grease a 9" spring form pan and mash the potatoes as evenly as possible around the base and sides.
While the potatoes bake in the oven, I chopped my kale, grate my cheese, and make the custard for the pie. I add my herbs to the custard.
Once the potatoes have cooked and become crunchy, I add a little white cheddar to the base of the pie, place the sauteed kale over the cheese and then top it off with the rest of my cheese.
The custard is then poured over the top. At this point, I push the edges of the potato crust down so that they are even with the center ingredients. This will keep the top edges of the crust from getting too brown.
Bird's Nest Pie with Kale
2 cups packed grated potatoes, skin and all
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 tablespoon olive oil
Grate potatoes and mix with salt. Place in a strainer for at least 20 minutes and allow the potatoes to express their liquid. Squeeze dry. Place potatoes in a bowl and add the beaten egg and chopped chives. Grease a 9" spring form pan and pat potato mixture evenly around the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown. About half way through the baking time, brush the crust with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
For the filling;
8 cups of chopped kale
1 medium onion
2 cloves of chopped garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
While potatoes are baking, heat olive oil in pan, add onion and saute until tender. Add garlic, stir and saute for 1 minute longer. Add kale, a little at a time, as the first portion begins to wither, add the next portion. Once all kale has been added and is withered, set aside.
1 cup of shredded white cheddar cheese
2 eggs beaten
1/4 cup of light coconut milk
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and black pepper to taste
Set grated cheese aside.
Combine beaten eggs, coconut milk and spices.
Once the crust is browned, place 1/2 cup of cheese on bottom of crust, top with kale and onion mixture. Top with remaining cheese and pour the custard over the top.
Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until set.
Remove from oven. Loosen sides from pan and remove the outer portion of the pan.
Serve with a salad and your meal will be complete.
Not only is this a wonderful meal for dinner, it makes a delicious addition to a brunch buffet. If you would like to make it the night before, put the entire pie together and then do the final baking the following day. Just remove it from the refrigerator about a half hour before baking so that the pie returns to room temperature before baking.