Happy New Year everyone! This past 2020 has been such a tough year it’s no wonder everyone is raring to move on to 2021. The Covid19 pandemic is nowhere near being over yet, but I think simply because we know what we are grappling now, versus the train of unpleasant surprises in 2020, we feel more able to face 2021 with a clean slate.
One of the losses I feel the most in 2020 was the inability to travel. The family usually takes the last week of the year off together for a family holiday and so for the past week, Facebook has been throwing out many photo memories of past trips to Japan, Greece, New Zealand and Australia. So as a sort of compensation to being grounded, I’ve been cooking a bunch of meals that are themed, to imagine travel and good food in different parts of the world that we’ve been to and loved.
But with all the cooking you can imagine I’ve had little time to blog or record recipes. It’s been a fun time trying out new recipes and cooking for small groups, but I think I’m pretty done now and need a break! Still it was wonderful to catch up with friends and family over small and intimate gatherings. This past year has really been one where we missed spending time together and these few in person meals have been very precious.
So the recipe I’m featuring here is a kind of spinach pie or pastry. Truth is, the filling is simply a spinach dip that I make frequently. I always keep the fixings of this dip around – frozen spinach, tomato soup mix and mayonnaise. And I’m still loving fathead dough and I thought that a spinach pie-pastry would be a great appetizer as guests could just pull off twists of pastry. Anyway it did turn out to be a fun food – the hands on nature of this dish fitted in well with the casual vibe. Although I served this as part of my charcuterie board, I thought this might be a great centerpiece for a hearty tea as well.
Spinach Twister Pastry
- Spinach filling
- 200 g frozen spinach
- 1 packet of soup mix (I use the Waitrose tomato, red pepper and herbs cup soup mix, but any tomato based soup mix would work well.)
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 1 egg, beaten (keep 1 tbsp aside to be used as egg wash)
- Blanch the spinach in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes, then drain well.
- In a medium bowl, mix the spinach, soup mix, salt, pepper, sour cream and mayonnaise together. Refrigerate for at least an hour (or overnight if possible)
- Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.
- Microwave the cream cheese and mozzarella for about a minute, stoppimg halfway to stir once to make sure that the cheese does not get burnt.
- Mix the almond flour and egg together and form into a dough. If it is too sticky you can add 1-2 tbsp of almond flour.
- Split the dough into 2 portions. Put the first dough ball in between 2 layers of baking paper and roll out. I used a 9 inch base of a springform pan and placed it on top of the dough and cut off the uneven edges to get a neat circle of dough.
- Spread the spinach filling over the dough all the way up to the edges.
- Roll out the next dough ball in the same way, then place on top of the layer of spinach.
- With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 10-12 wedges from the edge, but not all the way through the center of the circle. Gently lift off the triagular base of the wedge and twist it over, doing the same for the rest of the wedges. The pastry will look a little like a windmill. If you have leftover dough you can do star cutouts with a cookie cutter to decorate the center of the pastry. With a pastry brush, brush the dough surface with the egg wash.
- Bake at 180 deg C for 20-25 minutea. Serve hot.