This recipe was adapted from Lisa's new book, Cook Food: A Manualfesto for Easy, Healthy, Local Eating (PM Press).
Whenever I cook for a group, I like to keep it vegan. It’s not that I don’t enjoy some well-chosen, sustainably raised animal products myself (these days I’m identifying as a nonpracticing vegetarian), but when I’m sharing food I want as many people as possible to partake. Other advantages of cooking vegan for a crowd: it’s more affordable, it’s more sutainable, and you can demonstrate to committed carnivores that an animal-free meal can be as tasty and satisfying as any meat-based dish.
This tasty and simple pie a great potluck or party dish. It’s good hot and at room temperature, you can make it in advance up to the baking step, and it can easily be fancied up (bake it in a pie crust or roll into a phyllo dough log by following the directions here, starting at step 13), but it’s just as good just baked in a pan and cut into squares. You can also make it a complete (and wheat-free!) dinner by pairing it with roasted potatoes.
Use whatever greens are your favorite—or whatever’s freshest at the farmers market or in your garden—and experiment with different herbs (see variations below).
- 1 bunch spinach or ½ pound baby spinach leaves
- 2 bunches kale (dino preferred), destemmed and chopped
- 1 bunch scallions, both white and green parts, sliced into little rounds
- 2 small handfuls parsley, chopped
- 1 small handful cilantro, chopped
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil, plus a little more to grease the pan
- 1½ teaspoons salt (split between greens and tofu mixture; also, see the note about salt in the pantry section)
- 1 lemon (you’ll want both the zest and the juice)
- 1 12-ounce package firm tofu (this is a pretty standard package size; I do suggest staying as close to that as possible or your pie might feel light on greens)
- ½ cup soy yogurt
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt (see the note about salt in the pantry section)
- Pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
2. Wilt the spinach in a skillet or sauté pan over low to medium heat. Put it in a colander to cool; when it's no longer too hot to handle, squeeze as much water out of it as you can.
3. In the meantime, heat the oil over medium heat (you can use the same pan you used for the spinacht). Add the scallions, kale, parsley, cilantro, and one teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the kale is wilted and the scallions are tender (about 10 to 15 minutes).
4. Put the kale mixture into a bowl with the squeezed spinach. Grate into it the zest from the lemon; then cut the lemon in half and squeeze its juice in, too. Set aside.
5. Put the tofu, soy yogurt, nutritional yeast, and ½ tsp salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the s-shaped metal blade and whir until smooth.
6. Stir the tofu mixture into the greens with some fresh-ground pepper. Taste it and add more salt and/or whatever else you think it needs.
7. Oil a baking pan (9-inch round or square works best) and press the mixture into it. Bake for 40 minutes or so—the top should be good and golden brown, and you'll be able to see that the tofu has gotten kinda puffed up.
- You can use any combination of greens (spinach, all kale varieties, chard, collards, beet greens, turnip greens)—you'll need about two pounds total. Spinach is the only one you need to squeeze the water out of; everything else should be treated like the kale. Also, if you use all spinach, you’ll need more like three pounds, since it cooks down so much due to the water content.
- You can also swap out the cilantro for other herbs—try different herb/greens combinations that sound good to you.
- You can substitute leeks, green garlic (which is garlic harvested early, before it splits into so many cloves; it also has usable stems like a scallion), spring onions, shallots, or regular onions for the scallions.