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.


Anonymous 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 (The Perfect Pantry) 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 Denny said...

You know I'm completely drooling over this one!

Anonymous 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.

Lisa Fain (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!

Amanda 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.

x 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