Meatless Monday: Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nut Tart

Last week one of my friends who happens to be a vegetarian came over for dinner, and I wanted to make something meatless (obvi), but also something that had vegetables as the main component. I have almost a hundred meatless recipes flagged as ones to make, but I was sort of surprised by how many of them had something besides veggies as the main ingredient. Usually carbs. Correction: always carbs. I guess that tells you something about what recipes catch my eye – ones with carbs, carbs, and more carbs.

Luckily, this tart is very heavy on the spinach, with some feta and pine nuts for flavor and a thin phyllo dough crust. This was my first time working with phyllo dough (found in the freezer section by the pie crusts), and I think it would have been significantly more successful if I had realized earlier that it needs to thaw for a few hours before you work with it. It ended up tasting fine, though perhaps it didn’t look quite as pretty as I’d hoped. Either way, I thought this tasted great, especially for such a veggie-heavy meal.

SPINACH, FETA, AND PINE NUT TART (slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats)

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted in skillet
1 tbsp olive oil
2 10-oz packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed with water squeezed out
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
7 sheets phyllo dough (12”x17”)
5 tbsp unsalted butter
6 tbsp plus 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Whisk eggs in large bowl. Stir in spinach, pine nuts, salt and feta until well-combined.
  3. On clean, dry work surface, stack phyllo sheets and cover with a damp towel. Melt butter and allow to cool slightly. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  4. Place one sheet phyllo dough on baking sheet and brush lightly with melted butter. Sprinkle 1 tbsp Parmesan evenly over buttered phyllo and repeat, layering 5 more phyllo sheets, butter and 5 tbsp Parmesan. Arrange last phyllo sheet on top and brush lightly with butter. Spoon filling onto phyllo, spreading evenly and leaving outer 1-2 inches empty. Fold edges of pastry over filling, leaving center uncovered, and lightly brush top of phyllo with butter. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over filling. Bake tart until golden, about 25 minutes.

Everyone seemed to like this, though I think phyllo dough is the kind of thing that gets easier to work with (and better) with a little more practice. As a side note, I was worried my husband wouldn’t be satisfied with just this tart, so I offered to heat up some leftover pork for him to eat, but he turned me down – so I guess this was pretty good!

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