Rustic Spinach + Feta Tart
October 8, 2010 § 7 Comments
Now that I’ve plowed through the “tarts are hard” barrier, I can’t help myself. I make them all the time!! The rustics are incredibly easy, and very similar to the experience of making a pizza. It simply requires making the dough, spreading the ingredients on the surface, and folding up the sides. I can’t even honestly call this an oversimplification.
On this particular occassion, I tried a slightly different recipe for the shell than the one used in my earlier plum tart. Although I used less butter in this recipe, the crust was much more delicate and flakier. This may be because I assembled my tart at room temperature and baked it for less than the prescribed 50-ish minutes. I refrigerated the dough overnight and cut it in half to make a full two-course meal (1st course: Spinach Feta Tart; 2nd course: Walnut Peach Tart, for recipe see my Rustic Walnut Plum Tart and simply switch out the plums for two peaches). Operating this way, by relegating prep time to the night before, resulted in a seamless 1hr cook/bake time, that left me just enough time to bake, eat and make it out the door for the evening 😉
Rustic Spinach Feta Tart
(makes about 3 main course servings)
(this will make enough dough for two medium sized tarts)
1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 + 1/2 sticks butter
1/2 tsp salt
3-6 tsps ice water
2 cups frozen spinach, thawed
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
anywhere from 0 – 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, depending on your tolerance for heat
salt and pepper to taste
6 tsps feta cheese
4 tsps cream cheese
1 small tomato, sliced for topping
oil for cooking
a few small chilled butter squares for topping during the baking process
In a heated and lightly oiled frying pan, add the minced garlic and onion. Cook on medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the spinach, and season with the red pepper flakes and cracked black pepper. Add a pinch of salt, but not too much as the feta cheese is very salty. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Once finished, let the mixture sit aside until reaching room temperature.
In a separate bowl, mix the feta and cream cheese. Season with cracked black pepper.
To assemble: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out half of the dough in a circle that is between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick all around. It needs to be just thick enough to handle without falling apart. The trick I like to use here is to roll out my dough on a large wooden cutting board with a piece of wax paper between my rolling pin and my dough. Both the wax paper and cutting board sides should be floured. When you are ready to transfer to a baking sheet, simply turn over the full contraption with wax paper side facing the baking sheet and then lift off the cutting board. Once this is done spread the spinach on the surface of the rolled dough, leaving about a 1 + 1/2 inch border clear for folding (see picture). Add the cheese layer over the spinach layer, and finally top with sliced tomato in a concentric pattern. Fold the sides over the center. Top with chilled butter squares and bake on 425 degrees for about 35 minutes or until the tart is golden brown and you see that the cheese has melted.