Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What a difference a spice makes: Feta, Spinach and Onion Quiche with Nutmeg

Yes, I'm amazed what a difference a spice makes. Of course I knew that dusting some cinnamon on my apple pie or cumin on my carrot mash makes a huge difference. Yet it still took me by surprise when I took the usual ingredients - spinach and feta cheese and a good puff pastry (as I often do for my spanakopita) - but instead of dried Greek oregano used some freshly grated nutmeg, and got something utterly, totally different. Yes, still a delicious feta and spinach pie, but with a very distinct and different character. I made this just days after the Cheesy Feta & Spinach Pie, and not once did I think that one is too similar to the other..

Go on, try it yourself!

Feta, Spinach and Onion Quiche with Nutmeg
(Feta-spinatipirukas muskaadiga)
Serves 8
Adapted from a recipe on the Finnish Pirkka site

300 grams puff pastry*
150 grams spinach, leaves only
200 grams finely chopped onions
2 Tbsp oil
200 grams feta cheese, cubed
200 ml single cream
3 medium eggs
a pinch of salt
0.25 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
a quarter of a nutmeg, freshly grated (or a very, very generous pinch)

Roll puff pastry into 4-5 mm thickness and line a pie dish with it (you can use a round, 23 cm pie dish, or a square dish). Put aside.
Wash the spinach, do not shake too dry, put onto a hot frying pan and heat, until spinach has wilted. Refresh quickly under cold running water, then drain thoroughly and chop spinach roughly.
Heat the oil on a heavy frying pan and saute onions on a gentle heat until softened. Do not brown!
Spread spinach on the puff pastry, then scatter fried onions and feta cubes on top.
Whisk eggs with single cream, season with salt**, pepper and nutmeg, pour the mixture over the quiche.
Bake at 200 C for about 45 minutes, until the egg mixture has set and puff pastry is lovely golden shade.
Cool a little and serve as a light meal.

* I use the leavened one with yeast, as it gives a lighter and puffier texture, but plain puff pastry would work, too.
** The amount of salt depends on the saltiness of the feta you're using, so be careful here.


Mona M Olsson said...

Nutmeg marries well with spinach. It enhances the taste of spinach to celestial heights.

You should try Nutneg when making spinach-soup, spinach pancakes or when just having ordinary buttered spinach with fried salmon.

Lydia said...

Spinach and nutmeg is one of those classic combinations. I love cheesy pies like this one -- something to have for lunch or a light supper.

Kalyn said...

You know I'm completely drooling over this one!

maarja said...

pagan, jälle too pirukas:). mul anu tuleku puhul peaks vist iga päev pirukas laual olema. üks kindlasti see feta oma, siis too kõrvitsa-sinihallitusjuustu ja tavaline seenekas.

eile tegin toda kõrvitsasuppi, ja tüümiani asemel panin pisut ingverit ja muskaati. väga mõnus sai.

Deborah said...

This looks delicious! I love feta - and this sounds like a perfect combination.

Homesick Texan said...

I love cinnamon and nutmeg with spinach--they're unlikely companions but for some reason they work very well together.

thepassionatecook said...

i add nutmeg to absolutely everything: spinach, garlic sauce, bechamel, custard, potato mash, gratin dauphinois... and the worl is a happier place for it!

Mrs. W said...

Ooooh yeah... looks wonderful!

I always add a little freshly grated nutmeg to spinach--AND to my roasted cauliflower. Mmm, good.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

A few years ago, I hardly knew nutmeg now it's one of my favorites! I have one spinach and feta that always gets fresh nutmeg.
Your tart here has me drooling.

Chloe said...

this looks like something i could fall in love with.

Pille said...

Mona – I wasn’t aware of that until now. I do add nutmeg to cabbage dishes, however, and to turnip mash – it’s a great flavour enhancer there. I’ll keep your nutmeg usage tips in mind for future, thanks!

Lydia – how ignorant I’ve been!

Kalyn – it’s droolworthy, for sure J

Maarja – no aga külalistele sobibki alati pirukat pakkuda, nii et kõik on korras. Järgmisel nädalal saab ehk ka seenepirukat, kuna homme läheme metsa J Mõnusat aega Anuga Sulle!

Deborah – feta, spinach – and nutmeg – go together well!

Homesick Texan – mmm – I need to try adding cinnamon next time!

Johanna – I do add nutmeg to potato mash and béchamel sauce as well, but obviously my use of this spice has been way too limited!

Mrs W – thank you! Thank you for the roasted cauliflower tip!!

Tanna – fresh nutmeg is the best!

Chloe – well, give it a go then J