My mother is superstitious. I had read that it was the Italians who were most superstitious..but, not it our house. It was always my Irish mother who had us making wishes. We threw extra salt over our left (not right) shoulders. We looked for falling stars. We blew on lost eyelashes. All of the traditional opportunities for wishes. Of course, she took it a step further. The superstitions she carried coupled with her catholicism also meant that every time we saw a ‘new church’ we got to stop the car, get out, pray and make a wish.
I grew up believing that there must be something to the Luck of the Irish. As a fan of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, I’ve had to endure a lot of years bad luck football. But this year is different: Notre Dame is headed to Miami to vie for the National Championship on January 7.
Some haters will call it luck. Others will argue that ND’s season wasn’t challenging enough – what? They defeated Stanford(8), Oklahoma(12), Michigan(19) and everyone else they played…And, one drunken Michigan State fan I met recently tells me that there’s a petition against letting them play for the title…too late, Spartan.
Call it what you want…But, since the boys have done an amazing job this year – what with the being undefeated and stuff – it’s time for me to show some Irish love. And, hopefully, infuse a little luck into the big game for the Fighting Irish.
What better way to show the love and push our luck than with a savory vegetable pie – a pie that proudly showcases the colors of the Irish – fighting or not: Green Spinach, White Cauliflower and Orange Sweet Potato.
Vegetable Pie (serves 4)
1 10oz box Birdseye Frozen Chopped Spinach
- 2 TBSP heavy cream
- 1-2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
- 2 Cups Cauliflower florets
- 1 TBSP Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 Sweet Potato sliced into thin rounds
- Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
- Salt & Pepper
- Ugly Pie Crust (click for recipe)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
The Green: Creamed Spinach:
1. Defrost the spinach and squeeze out the excess liquid. To defrost: remove from packaging, place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for :06 mins stirring about halfway through.
2. In a medium pan over med heat, heat about 2 TBSP of olive oil
3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant – about 2mins
4. Add the defrosted, drained spinach and stir until heated through
5. Add Salt and Pepper – to taste
6. Add heavy cream and stir to combine and heat through
7. Set creamed spinach aside
The White: Cauliflower
NOTE: I bought like a giant head of cauliflower and the hardest part was protecting my fingers as I chopped out the florets….
8. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the cauliflower florets. Reduce to a Simmer and add 1 tsp of Salt
9. Cook until the cauliflower is very soft – easily pierced with a fork – about :15mins
10. Drain the cauliflower and place in the bowl of a Food Processor – I heart my Cuisinart
11. Add salt and pepper, the parmesan cheese, sour cream, a little salt and pepper and 1 TBSP of olive oil and pulse until sorta but not totally smooth. Set Aside
The Orange Super Food: Sweet Potatoes
12. Lay about 8-10 slices of sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper – you know how I love the Reynold’s Wrap Pan Liner – like the mullet of Reynold’s Wrap: tinfoil on one side, parchment paper on the other
Drizzle with Olive Oil and Gently Salt
13. Roast the sweet potato slices until softened – about :15 minutes flipping them halfway through the baking process
Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees
14. Create the veggie pie:
Layer in the Cauliflower Puree
- Top with the Creamed Spinach
- Top spinach with the roasted Sweet Potato Slices
15. Cover the veggie pie with tin foil and bake for :15 minutes – until completely heated through
Listen, I don’t know if there’s anything to the wishing on stars or throwing salt over my shoulder. But, couldn’t we all use just a little luck? And, what’s wrong with having an appropriately colored somewhat superstitious Fighting Irish pie to support your alma mater?