So the spinach tart… I’ve been making this tart for the last 10, maybe 12 years and this recipe has never let me down. I needed some time though, just to prepare myself mentally for this moment. It’s time consuming- I cannot tell you otherwise, but it’s worth all the effort. All of my friends absolutely love it, and on many occasions it was a main point of my dinner parties. I found this recipe in an old cook book, which I got from one of my friends, and since then I’ve always followed it. Never really had to modify it, as it’s simply perfect. I hope you will like it, like we do. It doesn’t matter whether you serve it hot or cold- it’s delicious anyway.
Makes 6/7 medium size servings, preparation time- about 1 hour, time in the oven- 45-50 min, oven temp- 200 C
- 250 g of flour
- 150 g of butter
- 3-4 tablespoons of cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 600 g of fresh spinach- stemmed and washed
- 2 eggs
- 2 onions- medium sized
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 50 g of parmesan cheese- grated
- 200 g of ricotta cheese
- 1 glass of milk
- 30 g of flour
- 60 g of butter
- salt and black pepper, bread crumbs
- olive oil- 2/3 tablespoons
On a working surface sift the flour and grate butter around it. Add a pinch pinch of salt and start kneading the dough. Add water when you think it’s necessary. It’s important so you do it quickly, as it’s not an easy one to make. So use your all energy and knead as fast as you can. Like on the pictures below. Once you form a nice ball of dough, place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes or so.
The Spinach Filling
When the dough is resting in the fridge, it’s time to prepare the spinach. In a big pot boil some water, add about half a spoon of salt. Wash the spinach, stem it, chop it, and boil it for 5-6 minutes. Once ready, strain it well and leave aside.
Chop finely the onions and garlic, leave aside. The eggs- separate yolks from the whites, and whisk the whites, leave aside. Prepare parmesan cheese and ricotta, leave aside. Once all these ingredients are ready in advance it will be much easier to combine them in a delicious spinach filling.
As the last thing you have to make bechamel sauce, using butter, flour and milk- don’t forget to warm it up. If you don’t know how to make it, please check my Lasagna post – I explained in great details how to make real bechamel. Once the sauce is ready we can start preparing the spinach filling.
In a big heavy skillet heat the olive oil, add the onions and garlic. Cook, and stir often, wait until the onions are tender and begin to color. Add spinach and cook together for another 2-3 minutes. Add 1 yolk, bechamel, parmesan and ricotta cheese. Combine everything together. Do it very gently. Add the whites and again mix everything slowly. Add some salt and black pepper if you think it’s needed. Once the filling is ready leave it aside.
In advance prepare the baking form- I use the one for sponge cake- 28 cm of diameter. However you can of course use the traditional tart baking form. Grease it with some butter and sprinkle some bread crumbs.
Take the dough out of the fridge and knead it again on a floured working surface. Divide it into two parts- one part to be used for the bottom of the tart. The second part- which is a little bit smaller by the way, to be used to make the edges of the tart. Spread the dough with a rolling pin and place on the bottom of the baking form. Form the edges by cutting small pieces of dough and rolling them in the desired shape. Fill in the baking form like on the pictures below.
Once this is done, scrape the spinach filling into the baking shape.
What I also do is, I leave a small piece of the dough and form tiny stripes, I place them on the top of the tart, as you can see on the picture. When you do this, brush the tart with an egg wash. Place it in the oven for 45-50 minutes.