Monday, November 19, 2007

SPINACH PUFFS

This is adapted from a Claudia Roden recipe: I made her Lebanese Spinach Pies on Saturday, then decided they would be even nicer rolled in egg and parmesan. I've also added pine nuts and garlic to the basic mixture.

We didn't eat these (okay, so I baked and tested one) - they were frozen on a tray (managed to find an inch of space in the runner-bean-stuffed freezer), then bagged up and tied. Ready to be thawed, brushed, rolled and baked for Christmas holidays - they will be perfect snacks to serve with drinks. I am busy collecting cocktail recipes too!

200g flaky or puff pastry
300g spinach or chard, washed
1 small onion, chopped finely
1tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small handful pine nuts
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt and pepper

Parmesan and 1 egg

Pack the spinach into a saucepan, and set over a gentle heat, turning until it's all wilted. Press into a sieve with a fork, and then your hands, to remove water. Remove to a chopping board, and chop finely.

Heat the oil in the pan, and add the onion. Turn the heat to low and allow the onion to slowly turn golden, adding the garlic and pine nuts after about 10 minutes. When the nuts are toasted, take off the heat, and stir in the lemon juice, seasoning, and spinach. If there is any liquid, return the pan to the heat to evaporate it. Now let the filling cool.

Roll the pastry as thinly as you dare and cut out 10cm circles with a fluted cutter. Brush the edges of each one with beaten egg, then put a teaspoon of filling in the centre of each one, and bring over one side like a miniature Cornish pasty.

To cook: brush the thawed puffs generously with beaten egg. Make a pile of finely-grated Parmesan on a chopping board, and roll each puff in it, to give a generous coating. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven and cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.