[ Cookbook Home | Ingredients Note | Beverages | Soups | Breads | Sweets | Meals ]

Spinach Corn Bread


Shortly after making Shepherd's Pie for the firsts time, I thought there might be dishes baked in a casserole or similar dish that I had never, ever heard of. When I ran across something called Batsaria, I got curious.

Southerners have a whole genre of cornbread made with stuff in it, often, but not always, called dressing. The cornbread is savory, not sweet, and it isn't unheard of to include spinach, broccoli, or other greens in it, and it's easy to find recipes that involve Jiffy corn bread mix, a package of frozen green stuff and a few other odds and ends, cooked in a skillet. This is not one of those. Not that I have a problem with those, but this is not one of those.

The Greeks have a variety of dishes that are spinach + starchy thing: spanakopita (in its lenten form with cheese and eggs, and in its everyday form without) is spinach + pie, in this case usually phyllo. Spanakorizo is a spinach and rice dish. Just like Shepherd's pie is a medieval meat pie reduced to a single crust, and that replaced with mashed potatoes, batsaria (plasto, and numerous other names) would appear to be a pan version of spanakopita, but with corn bread instead of phyllo. Poor people need to eat everywhere, and corn found its way to most if not all of them.

The spinach:

Steam a little more than a pound of spinach

You don't need a special device. Just rinse the spinach and then put it (still damp) in a pot with a lid and cook it until it wilts. Water will come out of it. Remove the greens but leave the water behind. Tongs are nice. A fork will work. If you have a colander, you can let the greens sit in that for a while. If you put them in a bowl or on a plate, you'll need to pour the water off after a bit.

Add to the steamed spinach some fresh dill or other green herbs like mint, oregano, parsley, etc.. If you think your herbs need softening, add them while the spinach is steaming. You could also salt the greens.

Chop fine:

3 green onions
1/2 bell pepper
a half dozen mushrooms
4 cloves garlic

Saute the onion, etc. in some olive oil (be generous).

The cornbread:

Mix in a bowl: 2 Cups corn meal
1 Cup white flour
4 tsp baking powder
some salt

Beat together in a different bowl: 3 eggs
1/4 Cup olive oil

Add the egg and oil to the cornmeal mixture, along with 1 Cup water, and up to 1/2 Cup water more to get a thick batter.

Use olive oil (be generous) to grease a 9X13 inch baking pan.

Pour a little more than half the cornbread mixture into the pan. Layer the greens and herbs on top. Then layer the sauted onion mixture. Then add the rest of the cornbread. You can use a little more water to thin it out more if that helps. I used a spoon to spread it out as much as possible.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cornbread is done.


[ Cookbook Home | Ingredients Note | Beverages | Soups | Breads | Sweets | Meals ]

Copyright Rebecca Allen, 2010.

Created March 9, 2010
Updated 25 August 2013