According to Erica Dibden of the Mountain Valley Farm in Central Tilba, everything she and husband Nic do, simply comes back to food. The couple have owned the 200 hectare farm for 20 years, and each day is about tending to the 400 Jersey cows that supply an estimated 25,000 litres of milk per week, not to mention planting seeds, harvesting crops and making the most of all of it.
Erica and Nic own Tilba Real Dairy, and specifically chose Jersey cows for a number of reasons. ‘They produce milk high in butter-fat and protein, have a lower environmental impact on the farm, are such beautiful creatures and are delightful to see grazing in the fields,’ Erica says.
‘I just love that whole process of nurturing something and turning it into food,’ Erica says. ‘I’ve always believed you are what you eat, and we want the milk that we produce to be the very best it can be for the good health of everyone who buys it.’
Erica chose recipes for Spinach and Fetta Pie and Baked Ricotta Cheesecake to share with Triangle readers this month.
¼ cup (60ml) olive oil, plus extra for greasing
2 bunches English spinach, roughly chopped
2 red onions, finely chopped
10 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
10 eggs, lightly beaten
400g fetta cheese, crumbled
½ cup (125ml) pouring cream
½ cup (50g) grated cheddar cheese
Salad greens, to serve.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly brush a large baking dish with olive oil.
Steam the spinach until just wilted. Drain well and place in a large bowl. Mix in the onion, mushrooms, parsley and garlic.
Whisk the eggs, fetta, cream and olive oil in a separate bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add to the spinach and mushroom mixture and quickly mix together.
Pour the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle with the grated cheddar. Cover with a sheet of baking paper.
Bake the pie for 30 minutes, then remove the baking paper. Bake for a further 20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with some simple salad greens.