This Spinach Feta Pine Nut tart finds it’s resemblance to the classic Greek tart Spanakopita, except for this being baked in an all butter puff pastry tart shell than the exotic phyllo pastry sheets. It’s one heavenly savory tart which perfectly finds it’s way on to your Sunday brunch table. It’s way more easier than you would’ve thought. And the life gets even easier, if you use a store bought puff pastry. And that is what I exactly did.
Ready to use puff pastries always give a foolproof result. The only challenge I face with them is that all we get here is the one made with salted butter, so you are only left with the savory stuff. For the desserts and other sweet treats, I still have to take the longer laborious route. And the desserts with puff pastries are saved for those cold winter days, when it is slightly easier to manage the butter with rolling pin. But for now, when I am not getting enough time to be spent in the kitchen, I can still enjoy this hearty healthy and summery tart.
I prefer to blind bake the tart shell because that keeps the tart crunchier for a longer time. The filling is amazingly simple yet high on flavors. The salty feta and parmesan cheeses pair perfectly with the creamier spinach filling. And the toasted pine nuts give it rounded and nutty flavor, almost an exotic Greek treat. It’s heavenly served alongside a light greens and tomato salad and a glass of fruity white wine. What more one could ask for on a Sunday?
- 800 gm fresh spinach, washed and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup feta, cut into cubes
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
- Salt, to taste
- 400 gm puff pastry
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs (basil, oregano, parsley)
- In a pan, heat the olive oil gently. Add the garlic and onion and saute on medium heat for 2 minutes until onions are translucent. Add the spinach and stir. Let the spinach cook for about 10 minutes, stirring in between, or until all the water in pan has dried up completely. Let cool completely.
- Preheat the oven at 180 degree C. Line the pine nuts in a large baking sheet and roast in oven for about 5 minutes. Take them out of oven and let cool in the baking sheet.
- Increase the oven temperature to 200 degree C. Roll the pastry in a rectangle large enough to cover a 14 x 4 inch rectangular loose bottom tart pan.
- Gently place the pastry into the tart pan and snuggle it along the edges using your fingers. Prick the pastry surface at multiple places using a fork. This will prevent the pastry to puff up heavily while pre baking.
- Cover the pastry with a parchment paper and fill it with baking beans. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and baking beans after 10 minutes of baking and then bake for another 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling, by mixing the cooked spinach, egg, sour cream, parmesan cheese, chili flakes, pepper and fresh herbs in a large bowl. Add salt sparingly, as the paremsan and feta cheese have enough salt.
- Once the tart shell has pre baked, pour the filling into the shell and spread evenly. Drop the feta cheese cubes on filling and press them inside gently. Scatter the toasted pine nuts on top of filling. Bake for about 20-25 minutes at 200 degree C preheated oven or until the filling is just set.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.