When I was a kids I would not get within 10 feet of anything that contained spinach. No matter how much my mum tried,I just couldn’t stand the stuff and there were not enough Popeye episodes to change my mind. Little did I know back then that the day will come when I will have kids of my own and the rule “try it at least once” will have to apply to me as it applies to them. (Some rules we as parents set for our kids tend to backfire). I had to find a way not only to try spinach but to like and enjoy spinach. I tried many recipes, some I barely tolerated but others I liked and then there were those that I loved!
Now, I buy spinach regularly and I am always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to enjoy this mean green vegetable.
One great opportunity to try new and interesting stuff is my monthly secret recipe club assignment
For this month’s Secret recipe club, I was assigned Ginny’s blog cooking with chopin. I have bookmarked quite a few of her recipes, like her chocolate revel bars, her Stuffed mushrooms with ground chicken “sausage” and her honey-vanilla chai tea latte but the recipe I ended up making is her Spinach pinwheels.
I loved the idea of spinach pinwheels. Cheese and spinach are an amazing combination (I know because they are the highlights of one of my favorite spinach recipes) The shape makes them kid friendly. They are easy to make.They are perfect for breakfast, after school snack or to pack in the lunch box. That ,however,does not mean that only kids can enjoy these spinach pinwheels. Paired with a salad they make for a wonderful dinner. On their own, they are a great option for a snack on the go.
I played with Ginny’s recipe a little. Using one of my favorite pastry dough recipes instead of puff pastry and I used a different blend of cheeses and herbs in the filling because they were what I had on hand. The result was a great hit, especially with the kids. The salty feta, the crunch of the walnuts, the buttery richness of the dough all complimented the spinach beautifully.Thank you Ginny for the inspiration
Spinach feta pinwheels
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 100 grams butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup cold milk
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- To prepare the pastry:
Place all ingredients except milk into a food processor and whizz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the milk slowly, while the processor is running until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until it’s quite smooth
Wrap in cling film and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (you can do this the night before and leave the dough to rest over night in the fridge)
For the filling:
- 2 big bunches of freshly chopped spinach, quickly blanched and squeezed of any excess water. (makes approx 150 grams)
- 1 cup of crumbled feta
- 1 egg
- half a cup of grated Romano cheese
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup of crushed walnuts
Place all the ingredients, excluding the walnuts in a food processor and whizz until you have a nice, creamy paste.
Spread the spinach mixture on the freshly rolled dough and spread the walnuts evenly on top.
Roll the dough up until it resembles a log, making sure to seal it with a little beaten egg on the final roll.
Place the roll into a refrigerator and allow it chill for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.
Gently transfer the roll onto a cutting board and using a lightly floured serrated knife cut into 2cm thick slices.
Arrange the slices on a baking tray, leaving a little room between them to allow for spreading during cooking.
Brush a little egg on the top and sides and bake for 15 mins until golden