Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spinach-Feta-Bacon Torte

I whipped this together for lunch today and it turned out really good. A soft pastry dough filled with spinach and bacon and feta cheese with just a hint of sun dried tomatoes.

Spinach-Feta-Bacon Torte
1 tablespoon olive oil ...
2 cups frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
1 small onion, minced
1/4 cup canned sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup cooked bacon, chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
black pepper to taste
3 eggs
1 cup Greek style yogurt
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup grated Reggiano or Parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a heavy, large skillet over a medium flame, then add the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and turn down the heat so the onion sweats but doesn't brown.

Meanwhile, put the spinach in a bowl and add onion and the orange zest along with the red pepper flakes and the pepper. Cook over low heat for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and put the spinach mixture into a large bowl to cool. When the spinach is room temperature, whisk in the eggs, then the yogurt, the bacon, mushrooms, cheese, tomatoes, and bread crumbs. Set aside while you make your torte shell.

Torte Shell

2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter plus 2 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk

Line the bottom of a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Spray the bottom and sides of the pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the flour and salt in a food processer or mixer bowl and briefly combine. Pulse in the butter pieces until crumbly. Add the eggs and milk and blend until dough forms. Remove about 2/3 of pastry dough and shape into a ball and flatten into a circle. Repeat with the remainder of the pastry.

Roll the larger amount of pastry into a 14 inch round and place in the prepared pan leaving an equal amount of overhang around the edges. Fit into the corners of the pan by pulling the dough on the side toward the center and laying it into the bottom and edge of the pan. Continue all the way around.

Pour the spinach mixture into the lined pie plate and then pull the corners up so they lie on top of the mixture. Put the tart in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes turning once so that it cooks evenly. The torte is done when the pastry is golden brown and the center of the spinach mixture has puffed up and is set.

Allow the torte to rest for 10 minutes or so before cutting it as the filing will be piping hot. It is also good served at room temperature or cold. The tart serves 6-8 as a main dish, or it can be sliced thin for appetizers.

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