Spinach Tart with Peas, Feta and Pine Nuts
This Spinach Tart, flavoured with nutmeg, is just what I want to eat in Spring! At this time of year, I crave fresh greens and particularly want something that is light but tasty. The filling consists of fresh spinach combined with peas which add a note of sweetness plus nuggets of salty feta cheese. The tart is topped with toasted pine nuts which add a crunchy texture as well as their delicious, nutty flavour.
Pretty much all of my recipes use some kind of herb or spice. I love the way that they transform simple ingredients. If you choose flavourings that really work with your ingredients, adding herbs and spices is a way to make your recipes extra-special with very little additional effort.
In this Spinach Tart recipe, I have used nutmeg as the main flavouring as I think it goes particularly well with spinach. If you have only used ready-powdered nutmeg, I really recommend that you buy a jar of whole nutmegs, which can be found in every supermarket. When you have done this, use an ordinary kitchen grater to grate a little piece off one of the nutmegs. Hold the shavings in your hand and inhale. That is the real scent of nutmeg! You can shave a little nutmeg into your dishes whenever you need it and it will have that wonderful, spicy aroma and taste.
Although nutmeg is often associated with sweet dishes and desserts, such as Bread and Butter Pudding or Baked Custard, I think it works very well in savoury dishes. I think it is particularly good in savoury dishes with a hint of sweetness such as Caramelised Onion Tart which uses slow-cooked onions.
I love a Tart!
Savoury vegetable-based tarts are a fantastic, cook-ahead lunch or supper. They are great either hot or at room temperature. Also, in my experience, they are one of the vegetarian dishes which please non-vegetarians too. In addition to Spinach Tart and Caramelised Onion Tart, you might also want to look at my Beetroot Tart, Carrot Tart, Garlic Tart, Tomato Tart, Herb Tartlets and Butternut Squash Tart with SagePrint
This Spinach Tart combines fresh, green spinach with the sweetness of peas, salty feta and crunchy pine nuts. It is perfect for a vegetarian light lunch or supper.
For the pastry:
- 275 g plain flour
- 125 g fat (I use a mix of half butter and half Trex as I think this makes the lightest pastry)
- A little water
For the filling:
- 1 onion
- 300 g fresh spinach
- 100 g frozen peas (defrosted)
- 125 g ricotta
- 100 ml double cream
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- Grated nutmeg to taste
- Salt and Pepper
- 50 g feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- Set your oven to 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4.
- Make the pastry. Put the flour in a bowl. Add the fat and combine – either by “rubbing in” by hand or processing – until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little cold water (2-3 tbsp) and shape the mixture into a dough.
- Roll out your pastry and use it to line your quiche or flan dish. Bake for 10 minutes in the oven to allow the pastry to “set”. This will stop the filling making it soggy.
- Peel and chop the onion. Heat the butter and oil in your frying pan. It helps if the pan is good quality with a thick bottom as this will disseminate the heat evenly and prevent burning. Add the onion to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook at a very low heat for about 10 minutes until soft.
- Place the spinach in a saucepan with a little water and cook gently, with the lid on, for about 5 minutes until the leaves are wilted. Remove the spinach leaves from the pan and, as soon as they are cool enough, squeeze to remove excess moisture and then roughly chop them.
- Put the softened onion, chopped spinach and defrosted peas into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the ricotta, cream and eggs. Season with salt and pepper and nutmeg.
- Spread the mixture in the pastry case.
- Crumble the feta cheese and sprinkle on top of the mixture.
- Place your quiche or flan dish in the oven and cook for 25 minutes. After it has been cooking for 15 minutes, sprinkle the pine nuts on top and return it to the oven.
Keywords: spinach, tart, quiche, feta, pine nuts, peas, vegetarian