Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nut Tart
Inspiration: I don’t buy phyllo dough often. There are a lot of sheets in just one box, and they don’t last very long in the fridge, so I only buy it when I have a lot of meals lined up that use phyllo. I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for quite some time for just an occasion.
What we Loved: Before I made this tart, I was wondering if it was going to turn out a lot like spanakopita, because it uses many of the same ingredients. I was very surprised and happy to find out that this recipe had its own unique texture and taste that was very different from spanakopita. In particular, I really thought that the pine nuts and the Parmesan cheese gave the tart a really great flavor. The pine nuts were buttery and had a nice toasted taste, and the Parmesan cheese cooked really well into the top of the spinach and into the layers of crust, giving the tart a rich and nutty flavor. My favorite part about this recipe was that the tart came out of the oven really thin and really crispy, so that you could pick up the pieces like a piece of crispy thin-crust pizza. I still used a fork and a knife, because phyllo dough tends to make a mess, but I really loved that unexpected crispy texture. I served this with some roasted tomato soup for a nice, light supper.
Helpful Hints: The original recipe calls for you to use butter between the phyllo dough layers, but unless I’m making baklava, I almost always use extra virgin olive oil when working with phyllo. I think that it works great, but if you want that richer flavor, use butter.
Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nut Tart
Source: Annie’s Eats, originally from Epicurious
I made a few changes to the ingredients to adjust to what I had on hand and to my preferences. Here’s the recipe as I made it.
½ cup pine nuts
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Extra virgin olive oil
1 16 oz package frozen chopped spinach
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
7 sheets phyllo dough (12”x17”)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1. Toast the pine nuts in a small saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned.
2. Cook the frozen spinach according to package instructions. Drain all excess water from the spinach.
3. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Saute the onions until they are softened. Add the garlic, and saute for an additional minute.
4. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the spinach, onions, pine nuts, salt, and feta, and stir to combine.
5. Place the phyllo sheets on a clean surface, covered with a damp towl. Pour some extra virgin olive oil on a small plate, and grease a baking sheet.
6. Place one sheet of phyllo dough on the baking sheet, and brush lightly with oil. Sprinkle with just a bit of Parmesan cheese. Repeat with the rest of the phyllo sheets.
7. Spoon the spinach filling on top of the phyllo, spreading evenly and leaving the outer 1 1/2 inches of phyllo dough free of filling.
8. Fold the edges of the phyllo dough pastry over the filling, leaving the center uncovered. Lightly brush the top of the phyllo dough with oil, and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the spinach filling.
9. Bake at 375 for approximately 15 minutes, or until the crust is browned.