A rustic spinach tart pays homage to the classic Spanakopita, but ups the ante with the added flavors of bacon and mushrooms. Enjoy this as a brunch entrée or pair it with a salad for a light meal.
No time to make your own tart dough? Simply substitute a prepared pie shell and follow the baking directions on the package.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
- For the filling:
- 8 oz. bacon, diced
- 2 large onions, diced
- 2 green onions, sliced thinly
- 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 1 1/2 lbs. fresh baby spinach, washed, drained well, and chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 lb. feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup ricotta or cottage cheese
- For the tart dough:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 6 – 7 tbsp. ice water
First prepare the dough:
To make dough in Food Processor: Add flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a few times to mix. Add chilled butter pieces and process until crumbly, like wet sand. With processor running, add ice water a tbsp. at a time. Process until dough pulls together and forms a ball away from the sides. Add an additional tbsp. of water if it seems too dry. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and flatten dough in to a round disk. Chill dough while you prepare the filling.
To make the dough by hand: In a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt, and sugar. Mix to combine. Add the butter pieces and using two forks or a pastry blender, cut the butter in to the flour. (You can also use your hands for this.) The mixture should resemble coarse sand when the butter is incorporated fully. Add water and mix to incorporate, kneading dough into a smooth ball. Flatten in to a round disk and chill while making the filling.
Then prepare the spinach mixture:
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon pieces over medium high heat until nicely crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon bits to drain on paper towels.
Drain bacon fat into a heat safe measuring cup and keep 1/4 cup. Discard any excess. Heat the bacon fat in the pot and add onions and green onions. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender. Add the spinach and parsley and cook until the spinach is completely wilted and excess moisture evaporates, about 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly. Season the mixture lightly with salt and generously with freshly ground black pepper. (Remember that the feta and bacon will also add to the saltiness of the dish.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
When the spinach mixture has cooled, stir in the beaten eggs, crumbled feta cheese, ricotta, and reserved bacon bits.
Roll out the chilled dough to a size about 2 – 3 inches larger than a pie plate. Place the tart dough into the bottom of the pie pan and allow the edges to overlap the rim. Fill the tart as you would a pie with the spinach mixture.
Fold the edges inward to cover the outer edges of the filling. It doesn’t need to be crimped – just folded over the filling.
Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 45 - 50 minutes until the crust is a nice golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.