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
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
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Whisk eggs in large bowl. Stir in spinach, pine nuts, salt and feta until well-combined.
- 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.
- 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!