Spanakopita is one of my favorite Greek heroes. Even at Costco I’m tempted to buy that gigantic frozen box of the triangles just for severe craving times. Spinach and feta just go so well together. Recently, I can’t seem to get enough puff pastry down either. I know, it is not the healthiest of foods by any means, but it’s delicious! These spinach and feta swirls are best served warm – because the buttery flakiness of the puff pastry shines with the spinach and feta filling. I gave a few to friends but for the most part wolfed them down myself. Originally, I made them for a fourth of July party, but they just didn’t get past my kitchen. Oink oink. My son did eat half of one which is pretty impressive since he’s 2 and still very suspicious of vegetables.
One afternoon while watching Ina Garten make some extremely rich looking cinnamon rolls with puff pastry in a muffin pan, I felt inspired to do the same but with a spinach/feta and ham/cheese mixture. I’ll bet there is a healthy and/or gluten-free way to home-made puff pastry, but I haven’t found it. If you do, I’d love it if you shared the recipe! I’d most definitely give it a shot. I imagine it’s quite difficult but worth the effort. However, this recipe is pretty darn easy since it involves frozen puff pastry dough!
- 1 lb spinach (I had a big plastic container of organic baby spinach that I used)
- 6-8 oz feta, crumbled
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 onion (I used Vidalia), finely chopped
- 1 egg
- parsley (2TB fresh flat-leaf) chopped
- salt and pepper
- 2 sheets puff pastry dough (one box of frozen puff pastry dough), thawed about 40 minutes at room temp
- Pre-heat oven to 375
- In saucepan – over medium-high heat, melt just enough butter to coat the pan, add garlic and onion and cook until onion is see-through
- Little by little, add spinach (add butter if necessary) until it’s all wilted and cooked-through – allow liquid to boil for a few minutes stirring occasionally
- Pour spinach into colander in sink and allow to drain- pushing through excess water
- Pat spinach with paper towels to make sure it’s fairly dry
- Add beaten egg – some of the egg will go through, that’s okay
- Add feta and parsley
- Brush the pastries with melted butter (not boiling hot butter)
- Spread spinach mixture evenly amongst both puff pastry squares- leaving a 1 inch border on all four sides
- Cut edges off the rolls and cut evenly into six equal parts totaling 12 (cut each roll in half, and then with each half cut into thirds)
- Grease muffin tin and place rolls spiral-side down
- Brush the tops with butter if you want
- Bake about 30-35 minutes
I found the best way to re-warm these swirls is either in the oven or toaster-oven. You can eat them cooled to room temperature after baking, but once they start to dry a little, they need to be re-heated and the oils will re-emerge. Microwaving will work, but the swirls become more bread-like than pastry. In the picture above, I ran out of feta – so I didn’t quite make it to the 6-8 ounces that I think would have been ideal. However, they were still extremely flavorful and delicious! Warning! Just the dough alone in each serving is roughly 170 calories. Yikes! So, I’ll re-iterate that they’re not really that healthy, the spinach mixture is though. You could make the same filling and use filo dough to lighten it up. However, I was honestly just in the mood for puff pastry while making these. I’ll make up for it, I promise!