The Greenest Crustless Pie


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    for dinner

Appears in

Home Made in the Oven: Truly Easy, Comforting Recipes for Baking, Broiling, and Roasting

Home Made in the Oven

By Yvette van Boven

Published 2019

  • About

Ricotta is a wonderful ingredient. It fits really well in these times of trying to throw out as little as possible and reuse everything. The literal meaning of the word ricotta is “cooked again”; it’s made from the whey that is leftover after making cheese. This can come from cow, goat, sheep, or buffalo milk cheeses. And believe me, after making cheese, producers are left with liters of this light yellow, mildly sour liquid. It’s often used as pig feed. However, whey also contains proteins that will solidify once you reheat them—and you get the crumbly by-product called ricotta. Strictly speaking, ricotta can’t be called a cheese, but “protein-rich by-product” doesn’t sound particularly appealing, does it? Whatever it may be, I stirred heaps of ricotta in with the remaining vegetables from the Vegetable Soup with Pearl Barley, so I suppose you could say this pie is itself a by-product—and a delicious one at that!


  • 10 cups (300 g) wild spinach
  • 1 heaping cup (125 g) haricots verts or green beans, cut into short pieces
  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (750 ml) ricotta
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • cups (150 g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • Handful of foraged or garden herbs like wild garlic or chives, French sorrel, baby dandelion leaves, dill, basil, parsley, and so on


Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Thoroughly grease a small springform pan (8½ or 9 inches/22 cm).

Blanch the spinach in a saucepan of boiling water, scoop from the pan, and then cook the green beans until al dente; rinse with cold water. Press all the remaining water from the spinach and finely chop.

In a bowl, beat the ricotta, whole eggs, egg yolks, Parmesan, and lots of pepper until smooth. With a spoon, fold in all of the vegetables, including the scallions, and herbs and pour the mixture into the springform pan.

Bake for about 1 hour (depending on the size and depth of your pie). Check now and then; if it feels firm and the middle has become nicely dry, the pie is done.

Let cool slightly and serve with a salad.