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!
Spanakopi-tartFor 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
- 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!)