Feta Cheese, Spinach and Pine Nut Galettes
Galettes are very thin discs of flaky pastry which, unlike conventional tarts, have no sides. The concept is a good one because 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 – the combinations are endless, and you can serve them for a light lunch, as a first course, on a picnic or for a dessert. What I often do is freeze the pastry circles raw, interleaved with kitchen foil or baking parchment (silicone paper), so you can just whip some out for an impromptu meal at any time at all. If you don't have the right-sized cutter, just cut around a saucer of the same size. 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.
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|
|10 oz (275 g) Quick and Easy Flaky Pastry (click here for recipe)|
|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).|
|Need help with conversions?|
|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 1/8 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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What should perfect flaky pastry be like? Answer: as light as possible, wafer-thin and so crisp it eats like a whisper so that you hardly know it's there. Quick flaky pastry is really a cheat's version – the secret is grating partly frozen butter, th
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