I really wish that life had more recipes like this in it. Or rather, that I could eat more recipes like this in my life. It’s awesome and horrible sometimes having an athlete boyfriend—he can eat everything he wants, and so can all of his friends! (Though I can’t complain too much, because for a few months he’s got to keep on weight for regattas, and then in comparison I get to eat whatever I want.) The good thing is that he has friends who can eat whatever they want too, so I occasionally get to make really decadent dinners.
This spinach cheese tart is inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home, but is well and truly adapted by yours truly to hopefully fit ingredients that you’ll actually have in your fridge. I have it listed as ‘moderate’ but truly, there’s little you could do to screw this up. Anything smooshed between puff pastry and generous amounts of cheese will taste good, I promise! You could mix up this basic method by using different sorts of vegetable combinations (mushrooms, spinach, and sundried tomatoes?), different meats, or really whatever you can concoct. Enjoy!
Spinach Cheese Tart
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 1-2 sheets puff pastry (store bought)
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups frozen spinach (about)
- 1/4 tsp fresh or dried thyme
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesean cheese
- 1/3 cup cream
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 egg
- fresh ground pepper
- small handful fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, or rosemary)
- optional: chopped ham, crumbled goat’s cheese, feta, torn chicken, etc.
Lightly grease a cookie sheet (or use a silicone baking liner such as this one, they’re godsends) and press your sheets of puff pastry into it—I used one and a half 25×25 cm puff pasty sheets, you may or may not need slightly more or less. Use a cookie sheet or baking tray that lets you curve the edges of the pastry up slightly, to create a small crust. Prick all over with a fork and bake in a 350 F / 180 C oven for 10-15 minutes until the pastry puffs and goes lightly golden.
Meanwhile, cook the onion and garlic with a bit of olive oil until soft and starting to go a bit golden. Add the frozen spinach and saute until loosened and any excess moisture has evaporated. Add the thyme and a bit of freshly ground black pepper, remove from heat.
In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, mix together the cream, egg, and parmesean cheese. Leave the cheddar cheese to the side.
Once your spinach mixture has cooled enough to be handled, spread it evenly across your pre-baked puff pastry shell. Pour the cream and egg on top of that, and smooth out again. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese and your fresh herbs over the mixture, and a bit more fresh ground pepper. Bake for another 10-15 minutes at 350 F / 180 C until the cheese bubbles and goes a bit golden, and the crust of your pastry has darkened to a nice golden colour.
Slice into bite-size pieces and serve immediately!