Spanakopi-tart

Another meal, brought to you by the question “how am I going to use up these foods from my CSA?”

I sort of had in mind making an onion tart at the beginning.  I had seen the recent blog post on Chocolate and Zucchini for an olive oil tart crust and wanted to try it.  A tart crust that is whole wheat, and has only a quarter cup of oil (and no butter)?  Very intriguing.  I love regular tart crust, but it does require a lot of butter, and even though I don’t worry about that stuff so much, when you are making a tart crust and actually see how much butter (i.e. pure fat) you are adding, you do tend to think “maybe I’ll wait a little while before making this again.”

We had quite a few (I think) Vidalia onions from the CSA so I figured I could using that as the filling, but frankly that didn’t sound so exciting.  But aha, there was lots of fresh spinach in the fridge too.  And feta.  And I thought:  spanakopita!

So I browned the onions and then added the fresh spinach until it wilted.  I turned up the heat to boil off as much of the excess liquid as possible, hoping to avoid a soggy tart crust.  I let it cool a little and mixed up eggs, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Then I lifted in the onion-spinach mixture, using a slotted spoon (to let any more water drain out).  Then I sprinkled crumbled feta on top.

I was nervous–while I have made up soups before (sort of, anyway) and improvised a frittata or two (also not that daunting), this was something that was baked.  I didn’t know if the pie crust would cook all the way, I didn’t know if the filling would set before the crust burnt, I didn’t know if I had gotten the temperature right.

After thirty minutes, I gently slipped a knife in and it came out clean.  Being a bit antsy about the whole endeavor, I tested a few more spots and convinced myself it was done.  I very gently lifted the rim of the tart mold off and saw that it looked solid and sturdy.  I cooled it a little on a rack, and then slid it off the tart mold’s base.  Dry all the way through on the bottom, and nicely baked.  No sogginess, no raw dough.

It all looked good, but of course the proof is in the eating!  I was a bit worried that I had overdone it on the nutmeg, or that my addition of rosemary  to the tart crust was unwise and would clash with the spice flavor.  But the rosemary seemed to enhance the sweetness of the caramelized onions, and the nutmeg was just right and not overpowering (think of those overly spiced pumpkin pies and how disappointing they are!).  We had a few servings for lunch and I was quite pleased with myself, I will admit.

I guess this is something like a quiche as well, though with this olive oil crust rather than, once again, buttery dough.  And I’m sure it’s “lighter” than spanakopita itself, what with layers of phyllo dough moistened by butter.  What I like is that it’s pretty easy to make and makes a great weekend lunch!

IMG_7807

 

Spanakopi-tart

For the crust (adapted for this recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini); do check this post for extra details, tips, and variations).
  •  250 grams (about two cups) of a 50/50 mix of all purpose and whole wheat flour.
  •  1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  •  1 teaspoon rosemary
  •  60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
  •  120 ml (1/2 cup) cold water
For the filling
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb spinach (if you use frozen, be sure to thaw and squeeze out as much liquid as possible).
  • 1 t nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 oz feta cheese (more or less, depends how much you like feta!)
Combine the flour, salt, and herbs in a medium mixing bowl. Add the oil and mix it in with a fork. Add the water, mix with the fork until it is absorbed, then knead lightly (I do this with just one hand, in the bowl) until the dough comes together into a ball.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle a little flour on the ball of dough and on the rolling pin, and roll the dough out into a circle large enough to fit your tart pan. Transfer the dough carefully into the prepared pan and line it neatly. Trim the excess dough (re-roll it and cut into decorative shapes to top the tart), and place the pan in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.  (Note, the original recipe suggests lightly greasing the mold; I did not do so and had no problems; but I also have a tart tin with a separable base which may make this strategy easier to pull off).
Make the filling.  Preheat the oven to 400F.  Saute the onions over medium heat until they start to brown (about 15 minutes).  Add the spinach–it will overflow the skillet but will eventually shrink down substantially.  Once the spinach has wilted, turn the heat up to high and boil off as much liquid as possible (onions give off liquid when they cook).  Set the mixture aside to cool 5-10 minutes.  Mix the nutmeg, eggs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Add the spinach and onion mixture with a slotted spoon to drain out any excess liquid.  Stir together and pour into the filled tart pan.  Scatter chunks of feta over the surface of the mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.  Best enjoyed warm. 
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6 thoughts on “Spanakopi-tart

  1. This looks really good. My CSA starts this weekend but I’m going up to Vermont. We are having our neighbors pick it up for us. We are getting some asparagus, and ruburb and some other stuff…Soon I’ll be asking you for all sorts of advice on cooking things I’ve never eaten before! (Well, not rubarb and asparagus, of course!)

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