I don’t want to bring politics into this blog, but this has been a week to end all weeks for this nation. Launching into a little discussion about wilting spinach and making yourself a tart seems meaningless and trite. I wish I had the courage to write about the many, many thoughts that have crossed my mind this week but again, I don’t want to use this platform for venting views about politics especially. Yes, I will ruminate from time to time about life issues, but generally speaking, you are going to hear from me about recipes, restaurant reviews and other food adventures as my bio suggests.
Having said that, and with respect for everyone who reads the blog, whether you are singing a happy tune, fearing for the health of our nation or just saying to yourself, ok let’s move on now, here’s what I am offering. I want to share one snippet of Secretary Clinton’s concession speech that resonated the most with me. I hope that Americans across this great nation can embrace this statement as we move forward with our new normal.
“I count my blessings every single day that I am an American and I still believe as deeply as I ever have, that if we stand together, work together, with respect for our differences, strength in our convictions, and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us.” – Hillary Clinton
Now, let’s talk about wilting spinach.
I recently read a post on Food 52 about a Spanokopita Grilled Cheese that sounded amazing. I haven’t tried the recipe just yet, but it looks delicious. And then, an idea popped into my head about turning the Spanokopita concept into an easy-to-make, weeknight-kind of tart using store bought puff pastry. My Asparagus, Ham and Gruyere Tart was pretty popular with readers, even those who omitted the ham to make it vegetarian, so I figured this recipe might resonate with you too! I am not sure it fits into the category of comfort food some may be seeking this week, but it is a no-stress and quick dish that you can serve as an appetizer, for lunch with a salad or as a light dinner. I served it alongside some shrimp that I sauteed in the pan juices with some garlic, lemon juice and pickled jalapenos (my latest obsession since I made some from scratch this fall).
The recipe goes like this. Start with some store bought puff pastry that you roll into a rectangle and score, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Saute some shallots and scallions in olive oil and add some spinach, cooking until wilted. Drain off any excess liquid – a key step in the recipe to avoid a soggy tart – and add breadcrumbs and some fresh dill. Layer the dough with slices of Muenster cheese, the spinach, fresh feta and some toasted pine nuts. Brush the edges with egg wash and pop in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes until the edges of the pastry are puffed up and the tart is golden brown. Allow to cool just a bit (it’s better at room temperature actually), cut into serving pieces and enjoy.
Spanokopita never was so easy!
Please give it a try, and do let me know what you think in the comments!
PS – check out the two recipes in the links below. Both are really delicious and would be great additions to your Thanksgiving table!
See you next week!