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Feta Cheese, Spinach and Pine Nut Galettes

Galettes are very thin discs of flaky pastry which have no sides, the pastry is barely there, yet it gives a light, very crisp background to all kinds of toppings, both savoury and sweet. There's no limit to what you can put on top of them (see related recipes below) and you can serve them for a light lunch, as a first course, on a picnic or for a dessert. I often freeze the pastry circles raw, interleaved with foil or greaseproof paper, ready for an impromptu meal any time at all.

This is a very Greek combination where, authentically, the filling gets wrapped in pastry parcels. I now prefer this version, though, which has less pastry and is much prettier to look at.

 Feta Cheese, Spinach and Pine Nut Galettes

  Serves 3 as a light lunch or 6 as a first course

 4½ oz (125 g) Feta cheese, chopped into small cubes
 8 oz (225 g) young leaf spinach
 1 oz (25 g) pine nuts
 a little freshly grated nutmeg
 Quick Flaky Pastry (see related recipe below) using 110g butter, 175g plain flour, pinch salt, a little cold water
 a little flour for dusting
 1 oz (25g) Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), finely grated
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).
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You will also need two solid baking sheets measuring 14 x 11 inches (35 x 28 cm), lightly greased, and a 6 inch (15 cm) plain pastry cutter.

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book One.


Make the pastry and chill it for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Meanwhile, cook the spinach by placing it in a saucepan with a lid on, then place it over a medium heat. Just let it collapse down into its own juices, timing it for 2-3 minutes and turning it over halfway through.

Drain the spinach in a colander, pressing it with a saucer to extract every last bit of juice, then season with a little nutmeg.

Next roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to ⅛ inch (3 mm), cut out six 6 inch (15 cm) discs and place these on the baking sheets.

Finely chop the spinach and divide it between the pastry circles, spreading it out towards the edges of the pastry, but leaving a small uncovered rim around the edge.

Next, scatter the Feta over the spinach, then sprinkle over the pine nuts.

Now cook the galettes for 10-12 minutes, one tray on the high shelf, the other on the next one down, until golden brown, swapping the baking sheets over halfway through.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle the Parmesan over and serve warm, or allow to cool on a wire rack.


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