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What can I tell you about this delicious dish?
It’s perfect for those little celebrations, gatherings with friends when you’re cozy and warm inside with cocktails on the couch, or out in the sunshine on the patio.
It’s a little fancy, but simple to make, perfect for a light lunch picnic, or paired with your favorite warming soup in the wintertime.
This beautiful, savory, filled puff pastry uses a grocery-store shortcut to eliminate the hardest task. Rather than making your own dough, you just buy good old frozen puff pastry.
As for the rest of the work: you’ll chop, mix, and assemble a little. But mostly, the effort is minimal, and you will be so pleased when you take this golden, flaky creation out of the oven to eat and enjoy.
Similar to spanakopita, this dish is so much easier to make, with two simple layers of pastry crimped together rather than individually filling and wrapping each portion.
I think it’s very pretty, which is another plus. But then, I am partial to spinach in terms of food appearance.
Look at that rich green poking out from inside the dough! Mixed with the Gruyere and Parmesan, infused with garlic and onion butter, the filling is very creamy and very spinachy, and I mean that in a good way.
Eating this, I like to think I’m in France – a bit refined with a touch of class, but it’s also something you can imagine eating on the sidewalk at a cafe table outside a Parisian bistro.
You’ll want to serve this savory pastry hot out of the oven, if at all possible.
You could microwave slices the next day and enjoy them for lunch, but the dough will get a little gummy. If you’re reheating, the toaster oven is definitely the way to go. But it’s really at its best as soon as you make it.
This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s cookbook Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home, available on Amazon.
If you need a classy meal to truly wow a small crowd, the best spinach in puff pastry is here to save the day. And it’s easy to make.
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
- 1 14-oz bag frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 5 large eggs, divided
- 1 Tbsp unseasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp water
- 2 sheets (1 17.3-oz box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted in refrigerator overnight
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Spread pine nuts on one of the prepared baking sheets in an even layer. Place in oven and bake until nuts are toasted for about 5-10 minutes, tossing halfway through.
- Heat butter in medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat. Once melted, add onions and cook for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Lightly beat 4 eggs. Squeeze most of the water out of the spinach and place it in a large bowl. Add the onion mixture, Gruyere, Parmesan, beaten eggs, breadcrumbs, 2 teaspoons salt, 3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper, nutmeg and pine nuts. Mix well.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg and water for the egg wash. Set aside.
- Unfold one sheet of puff pastry and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the spinach mixture in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border. Brush the border with the egg wash.
- Roll out the second sheet of pastry on a floured board until it’s an inch larger in each direction, to make a 11-by-16-inch rectangle. Place the second sheet of pastry over the spinach and seal the edges, crimping them with a fork.
- Brush the top with egg wash, but don’t let it drip down the sides or the pastry won’t rise. Make three small slits in the pastry, and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 12 pieces. Serve hot.
This recipe can be assembled a day in advance, stopping just before brushing with egg wash and baking. Simply put step 5 on hold until the next day, and refrigerate after completing step 7. Brush with egg wash and bake when you’re ready to serve. Plan for about an hour so you will have time to preheat, bake, and rest the pastry before slicing.
Keywords: spinach, puff pastry, savory pastry, appetizer, lunch
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Chop, Mince, Defrost, Grate, and Measure
Defrost the frozen spinach and puff pastry according to the instructions on the packaging for each. When they’re ready to go, set aside on your workspace until you’re ready to use them.
Peel and roughly chop the onions until you have 2 cups total. This took me about 2 medium onions to achieve. Set aside.
Peel and mince 3 cloves of garlic. Set aside. You can also use your garlic press for this, if you prefer.
Grate the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses until you have 1 cup and 3/4 cup respectively. Set aside.
Measure all remaining ingredients as they are listed in the ingredients list. For the eggs, add 4 eggs to one small bowl and 1 egg to a separate small bowl.
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Step 2 – Toast Pine Nuts
Add the pine nuts in an even layer to one of the prepared baking sheets.
Bake until the nuts are toasted and golden brown, about 5-10 minutes. Toss them halfway through baking so they don’t brown too much on one side. Transfer from the hot pan to a small bowl, and set aside.
Be sure to keep an eye on them. They’ll quickly transition from beautifully toasted to burned if they’re in the oven too long.
Step 3 – Cook Onions and Garlic
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and stir them to coat with the butter. Saute for for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The onions should be tender and translucent; turn down the heat if they start to brown. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Remove from heat to cool slightly.
Step 4 – Make Filling
Lightly beat 4 eggs in the small bowl.
Remove as much of the water from the spinach as possible. You can do this by pressing it in a fine mesh strainer, squeezing it in a piece of cheesecloth, or squeezing in your hands with paper towels.
You won’t get every drop, but the spinach should be drier and water should not easily flow from it when you squeeze it.
Add the spinach, beaten eggs, onion mixture, Gruyere, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, 2 teaspoons of salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, nutmeg, and toasted pine nuts to a large bowl. Stir until well combined.
Step 5 – Assemble Pastry
Add the water to the bowl with the remaining egg and whisk together until combined. Set aside.
Unfold one sheet of puff pastry and place it on the second prepared baking sheet.
Spread the spinach mixture in an even layer in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Brush the border with egg wash.
Note the layer of filling will be quite thick, and that’s a good thing.
Roll out the second sheet of pastry on a floured work surface, until it is 11 inches by 16 inches.
Place the rolled out pastry over the spinach and seal the edges, tucking the overlapping pastry under the bottom layer as needed.
Press to seal the edges and crimp with a fork around the edges.
Brush the top lightly with the egg wash. Make sure the pastry isn’t too wet, and that it doesn’t drip down the sides.
Slice three small slits in the top of the pastry. Sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper.
Step 6 – Bake
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until lightly browned and the pastry is cooked through.
Let cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before moving to a cutting board.
Cut into 12 pieces with a sharp serrated knife. Make sure to let the knife do the work here, so you don’t press down too firmly and cause the filling squish out with the force of your cutting. Serve immediately.
Can I Make This Ahead of Time?
Yes, you most certainly can! This recipe can be assembled a day in advance, so all you have to do when you are ready to serve is simply bake and you’re good to go.
To prepare the pastry a day ahead, you will need to stop the process just before brushing with egg wash and baking.
Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, transfer it to your prepared baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and bake.
If you love cooking with spinach, you are going to want to check out these amazing recipes as well:
When will you serve this delicious dish? Will you make it more of a meal, or an appetizer before the big event? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to come back to rate the recipe once you try it yourself.
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on February 10, 2009. Last updated: January 4, 2019 at 22:53 pm. With additional writing and editing by Meghan Yager and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.