Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Spinach and Cheese with Puff Pastry, Three Ways

mini tarts

Ack, we almost forgot to make something for Weekend Wokking! The ingredient for this edition is spinach.

We usually sauté spinach with garlic for some greens with our meal, but perhaps that may be too boring for some of you. Well, we thought we'd cook them with sambal this time, but even though that is quite bold and flavorful, it would still look like a plate of wilted greens, photograph-wise. ;)


So, we had to think of something else, but something quick and easy to make. We happened to have some puff pastry in the freezer, so why not make a simple spinach and cheese filling and play with puff pastry?


This was a good way for us to use some of the cheese we had in the fridge.

For a household that does not eat cheese, we sure had quite a lot in the house! There's Pecorino Romano, smoked Gouda, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Emmentaler.

I decided to go with some Parmesan, Pecorino and Emmentaler.

I quickly wilted some spinach and squeezed out the water. I tell you, I always end up squeezing water out of things around here.

I chopped the spinach then mixed in the grated cheeses. I seasoned with salt and heavily with black pepper. I decided to add an egg to keep everything together.

Mini Tarts

The simplest shape to make was these cups, or "tarts".


I simply pushed in a square of puff pastry into a mini muffin pan and filled them with the spinach-cheese filling before baking.


For these, I spread the filling on a rectangular piece of puff pastry, then placed another piece of puff pastry on top. I cut this rectangle into strips, then twisted each strip.



This was my favorite.

I spread the filling on a piece of puff pastry, then started rolling in each end. I had to put this into the freezer for a bit before attempting to slice it.

The dough was still a little soft so I had weirdly-shaped palmiers.

But it all came out all right in the end after baking. Don't they look like little edible butterflies?

Try these spinach-and-cheese variations for your next party: they're perfect as hors d'oeuvres. You can make them in advance, freeze them, and pop them in the oven just before your guests arrive.

(Or, of course, you can just keep a stash of them for yourself, for whenever you fancy some buttery puff pastry bites.)

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Spinach and Cheese with Puff Pastry, Three Ways

store-bought puff pastry

spinach (if frozen, thaw first)
grated cheese, any kind
salt & pepper

If using fresh spinach, wilt them by boiling or steaming. Squeeze out the excess moisture from the wilted spinach (or the frozen spinach) and chop.

Grate any cheese or combination of cheeses. Mix together with the chopped spinach. Want the filling to be more spinach-y? Add more spinach. Like things cheesy? Add more cheese.

Season with salt and generously with black pepper. Add an egg and combine everything well.

To make mini tarts:
Cut puff pastry into squares or circles and fill a mini muffin pan with them. Spoon the spinach-cheese filling into each "cup", then bake.

To make twists:
Spread the spinach-cheese filling thinly on the puff pastry. Place another sheet of puff pastry on top. Cut this into strips, then twist each strip. Strips should be placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet to bake.

To make palmiers:
Spread the spinach-cheese filling on a sheet of puff pastry. Start rolling in each end, meeting in the middle. Put this into the freezer for about 15 minutes to make slicing easier. Slice with a serrated knife and place each slice onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake your creations in a preheated 375 F oven until golden brown.

eatingclub vancouver Weekend Wokking posts:
Ravioli "Caprese": Tomato, Basil, Bocconcini
Eggplant "Clafouti"
Pumpkin Congee w/ Pumpkin "Beignets" & Sesame-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese w/ Pipián Verde
Adobo Mushroom Tart
Duck and Orange Crêpes with Orange-White Wine Sauce
Almond Eggplant "Bisteeya" (Bastilla)
"Mashed Potato Beef Burger" (Red-skinned Potato Salad in Taiwanese Sacha Cheeseburger)
Korean Soybean Sprouts Pancake (Kongnamul Jeon)
Lemon Chamomile Tiramisu
Cilantro Horchata
Strawberry Cilantro Salsa, on Grilled Flank Steak
Duck Enchiladas with Chipotle Peanut Salsa
Clear Oxtail Soup with Corn, Cabbage and Potatoes
Beijing Pickled Cabbage
Salsa Romesco ("Queen of the Catalan Sauces!")
Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup)
Bangus Belly à la Bistek (Milkfish Belly with Onions, Calamansi and Soy Sauce)
White Pork with Garlic Sauce, Two Ways (蒜泥白肉)
Mr. Zheng's Soupy Tomatoes and Eggs with Tofu (蕃茄雞蛋跟豆腐)
Steamed Fish and Tofu with Chinese Black Beans
Spinach and Cheese with Puff Pastry, Three Ways

We're submitting this recipe to Weekend Wokking, a world-wide food blogging event created by Wandering Chopsticks celebrating the multiple ways we can cook one ingredient.

The host this month is Wandering Chopsticks herself!

If you would like to participate or to see the secret ingredient, check
who's hosting next month.

Check out
all Weekend Wokking Roundups.


  1. They all look like the perfect little snack on the patio with a glass of wine

  2. These are all so much fun! They would make perfect little appetizers!

  3. Yum! Good stuff...you got me with all 3 variations!

  4. These all look so good! How can you go wrong with spinach and cheese?

  5. I could be dangerous around your table! I would eat everything! especially the palmiers.

  6. I think the only way you can explain having so much cheese on hand is that you are a household that doesn't eat cheese. There's none in our fridge at the moment because we do eat it.
    Great little hors d'oeurves! Of course, everything you prepare looks delicious.

  7. Spinach and cheese in light flaky golden brown pastry would be so good!

  8. Love them all, especially the twisssts.

  9. Yum! I think the twists would be my favourite.

  10. What a wonderful recipe. Thank you for it. By the way, I just found out about a good deal at a great cheese shop on www.grooster.com. I heard about it on CBC.


  11. Thanks, all! =)

    Actually, that makes sense. Although, why do we keep buying these cheeses?! LOL.

    Sandy Billman:
    I have actually recently signed up with Grooster.

  12. Sounds good but your discription sucks... we need messurmants!! thats important...

  13. Anon:
    For specific types of dishes/recipes, exact measurements would be necessary. However, this is not one of those recipes. It really depends on your taste. As the recipe states, add more spinach if you want it more spinach-y, or add cheese if you want it to be cheesier.


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