Grow Your Own Garden Pie

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For the Grow your Own Bakeoff, a blogging event that celebrates the foods we grow or raise ourselves and the dishes we make using our homegrown products, I baked a Swiss chard-Gruyere pie.

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Here is the recipe: First, gather as many ingredients as you can from your garden. In our garden, I found multi-colored swiss chard, Kale, chives, thyme and parsley. Our young hens, Snickerdoodle, Lemon Drop, Raven, Cheez-It and Oreo provided the eggs.

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The backdrop to our garden is a mural on the side of our barn, painted with California poppies, rice plants, sunflowers and (look closely) a red double helix. Artist: Jim McCall, Elastic Media.

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Next, prepare the crust:

1 cup barley flour
2 cups white flour

1 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup unsalted margarine, frozen

grated rind of 1 lemon

1/2-3/4 c iced water

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Measure flours and salt into a Cuisinart fitted with a steel blade. Mix briefly. Add in diced butter and margarine. Chop until mixture resembles consistency of cornmeal. Remove from cuisinart and mix in the water an lemon rind with a fork. Shape into one large ball and one small ball. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or so.

Roll out chilled dough on floured surface, in between 2 floured sheets of waxed paper. Place larger crust into a pie pan with a circumference of 28.3 inches (r=4.5 inches). Layer the rest of the cheese on the base. Trim away extra crust. Flute the edges.

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Next prepare the filling:

2 TB olive oil
2 Tb butter
1/2 c onion, finely chopped
2 TB fresh chives, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, smashed and then finely chopped
 6 cups multi-colored swiss chard, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

5 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
3 TB fresh parsley
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of thyme
1.5 cups grated gruyere

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Melt butter and oil in skillet. Add in onion, chives and garlic. Cook over medium heat until browned. Add in chard and cook until tasty. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a separate bowl, blend eggs together. Stir in milk, half and half, parsley, thyme and 1/2 of the gruyere. Mix in cooled vegetable mixture.

Add filling to prepared crust. Decorate the top with a strip of dough representing the radius and the symbol for pi.

Bake in a preheated oven (425 degree F) for 25 minutes. Then cover with foil, reduce heat to 350 and cook until filling is cooked through (another 30 minutes or so).

Remove from oven, cool slightly and serve up your pi.

Variation: use milk instead of Half and Half. use other vegetables from your garden instead of chard and kale. Broccoli is good, too!

This post is modified version of a previous post entitled “Pie is a constant in my life

Follow Pamela Ronald:
Pamela Ronald is Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis, where she studies the role that genes play in a plant’s response to its environment. Her research focuses on the genetics of rice. With her husband, she co-wrote Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food. She writes a blog of the same name.