a lovely spinach tart

I had some dear friends over for a lovely evening of knitting and gabbing, and I made this spinach tart for dinner. It turned out really well, and I wanted to share it with you! It’s cobbled together from a few sources, mainly Deborah Madison’s “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone”. Right at the front of the section on savoury tarts and turnovers, she has several recipes for yeasted tart doughs. I had been thinking about just doing a shortcrust pastry for the tart, but the yeasted pastry sounded so interesting I had to try it. Madison notes that you do need to roll the dough quite thinly or it will be bready, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing!

I served the tart with a simple tomato salad – garden tomatoes, basil, olive oil and salt. Yum!


Yeasted Tart Dough with Olive Oil (adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)

Note: This makes quite a bit of dough! I made an 11″ tart and still had some leftover. If you make a smaller tart, you will have lots leftover.

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in a medium bowl and let stand for a few minutes until bubbly.
Add the oil, egg, and salt, then stir in the flour. Knead dough for a few minutes until smooth (I used the KitchenAid mixer and dough hook).
Turn the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for about an hour. I preheat the oven for a few minutes while mixing up the dough, then turn it off and stick the bowl in the warm oven to rise.
When the dough has risen, roll it out to 1/8″ thickness on a lightly floured surface and gently line an 11″ tart pan, trimming the excess.
Place the tart pan on a sheet pan (to make it easier to handle) and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F / 200C and bake the frozen tart shell for 20-25 minutes or until firm.
It might bubble, but you can deflate the bubbles with a knife.


Spinach Tart Filling

One 300g package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well (or fresh spinach, chopped and wilted)
3-4 large green onions/scallions, chopped, whites and greens
a handful of fresh herbs such as basil, dill, oregano, chopped (dried is ok too, a couple sprinkles)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup or more crumbled feta cheese (I used 100g, a quarter of a tub)
a splash of milk or cream (a few tablespoons)
black pepper

Turn the oven down to 375F / 190C. Mix all the spinach filling ingredients together, adding a little more milk or cream if it is very stiff.
Note, I didn’t use salt in the filling because the feta is very salty!
Spread the filling in the baked tart shell and bake for 35-45 minutes, until no longer jiggly, and just a bit browned on top. Let cool for a few minutes before slicing. It keeps well and is great in your lunchbox!

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