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Originally published Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Recipe: Spinach and Herb Torta in a Potato Crust

Makes 4 to 8 servings

3 large russet potatoes,

about 1 1/4 pounds

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch scallions, including

the greens, sliced

1 tablespoon chopped dill

or 2 teaspoons dried

½ cup parsley

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Salt and freshly ground pepper,

to taste

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2 bunches spinach, leaves only, coarsely chopped

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup small-curd cottage cheese

1/3 to ½ cup crumbled feta to taste

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1. Peel the potatoes. Slice two crosswise about 1/8-inch thick. Slice the third potato lengthwise, also 1/8-inch thick. Brush some olive oil in a wide skillet and set over high heat. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium. Make a layer of potatoes and cook, turning them once, until golden on both sides and tender when pierced with a knife. Repeat until all are done. Remove them to a paper towel as they finish cooking.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the scallions, dill, parsley and cilantro and cook over medium heat until the scallions are wilted and bright green, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and remove to a bowl.

3. Add the spinach to the same pan, with the water clinging to the leaves, or add ¼ cup water if the spinach is dry. Cook over high heat until the leaves are wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a sieve and press out any excess water, then add to the scallions. Add the eggs, cheeses and lemon zest and stir well. Adjust the seasonings.

4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To assemble the torta, lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan and set it on a sheet pan. Cover the bottom with the potato rounds, overlapping when necessary so there are no empty spaces. Place the long pieces around the sides. Pour in the spinach mixture, then bake immediately until firm and golden in places, about 40 minutes. Gently ease a knife between the edge of the pan and the potatoes. Release the spring and carefully lift off the side. Set the torta on a serving place and serve immediately.

From "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" by Deborah Madison

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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