Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart

Posted in Mains, Recipes
Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com

This Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart is absolutely loaded with veggies. Red onion, red pepper, squash and spinach all get packed into a shortcrust pastry case along with a good helping of feta cheese. It’s fair to say it takes a bit of time to prepare, but it can easily be done in stages and assembled just before baking. It’s simple and tasty food that lets your oven do lots of the heavy lifting!

Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com

One of my favourite ‘cooler weather’ tarts is actually more of a quiche. It’s stuffed with slowly cooked, caramelised red onions and piles upon piles of English cheeses: Cheddar, Red Leicester and Double Gloucester. Naturally, I’m not able to easily (or affordably) source that much English cheese in Germany, so instead I’ve been making this veggie packed version instead.

Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com

Let’s Talk Pastry

This is a shortcrust pastry and it’s so simple, you really never need buy it from a supermarket. There’s only one thing to remember with a shortcrust: Use half the weight of fat to flour.

Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com

I deviate from Great British Bake Off custom by using a 50/50 split between margarine and butter. Shortcrust dough seems little more forgiving and easier to work with this way. Each to their own though, so use the fat you prefer.

On the topic of flour, I’m using plain white. If you want to up the ‘wholesome’ quota here, you can substitute half the amount for plain wholemeal. Doing so will mean the pastry becomes more fragile though, so handle with care.

Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com

Now I’m not a pastry whizz – I routinely add too much water to my dough and end up with little creamy coloured lines in it (lack of patience and knowledge application more than anything!). It’s not the end of the world – it’s just pastry! The GBBO team aren’t waiting around the corner to get you for it!

This recipe doesn’t ask for the casing to be blind baked – and it’s never suffered for it. Just don’t fill the case and leave it sat around! I’m using a sloping sided enamel tin with an 18 cm base. It transmits heat quickly and always produces a great pastry crust.

Ingredients

Feta is traditionally made with sheep’s milk and it creates quite a strong flavour. Now I like feta cheese, but my other half isn’t a fan. If you’re in a similar boat, source a feta style cheese made with cows milk instead – like this Patros Natur.

Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com

Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com

Regardless of the kind of squash or pumpkin you buy, you’d deal with them both in the same manner. For this iteration of the tart I used a Hokkaido squash, though any edible variety will do the job. Using a vegetable peeler you can skin the squash before roasting, or scrape it away with a knife afterwards – whatever you find easiest.

You’ll also be peeling the skin from the red pepper – you’ll be able to do this once everything is nicely roasted, but to make it even easier just pop the pepper pieces in a plastic sandwich bag for ten minutes straight from the oven. The steam will help the skins peel away easily.

Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com

And when it comes to spinach… I opt for a frozen kind. Let it defrost at room temperature then press it REALLY firmly between multiple layers of kitchen roll. Squeeze and press as much water out as you can – I started with 200g frozen spinach and ended up with 75g at the end of the pressing process!

Should you want to use fresh in your tart, stick it in a colander and pour a kettle full of boiling water over the top. The spinach will wilt down – but make sure to press and squeeze as much liquid out as you can afterwards.

Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com

Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com

Whether you choose to mix all the filling ingredients together or layer them up in your tart, the choice is yours. I layered them here, because I wanted to make sure I got some photos for this post!

Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com

Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com

The tart serves four as a main meal, with some sort of side dish. I happen to think it’s good with a tomato topped green salad or a pile of baked beans (don’t judge!). It keeps well in the fridge until the following day too, just pop back in the oven for 25 minutes to heat through fully before serving.

Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com

Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com

Recipe: Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart | EatExploreEtc.com
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Feta, Squash and Spinach Tart

A veggie packed tart, loaded with bright colours and delicious flavours.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Ingredients
Pastry
  • 200 g Plain White Flour
  • 50 g Butter
  • 50 g Margarine (or swap for more butter)
  • 1-2 tbsp Cold Water
Filling
  • 200 g Frozen Spinach
  • 100 g Red Onion, Skinned
  • 125 g Red Pepper, Deseeded (approx. 1 whole pepper)
  • 300 g Squash, Skin On
  • 1 tsp Sunflower Oil
  • 90 g Feta Cheese, Crumbled
  • 2 Eggs
  • 200 ml Double Cream
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
Instructions
Make the Pastry
  1. Tip the flour and fat into a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs and no large lumps of fat remain. 

  2. Sprinkle in a tablespoon of cold water and mix in one direction, until the water is incorporated. The pastry will start to clump together. Gently knead into a ball of dough. If the mixture feels very dry, add more water by the teaspoon until you can make a soft, relatively dry dough. 

  3. Shape the dough into a ball and flatten into a rough circle. Tightly wrap in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare the Vegetables
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C for fan assisted, or 200 C for a standard oven.

  2. Cut the red onion, red pepper and squash into small wedges. You can peel the squash at this stage if you prefer. 

  3. Toss with 1 teaspoon of sunflower oil and place on a roasting tray. Roast for approximately 25 minutes, until starting to charr, then remove from the oven. 

  4. Allow the vegetables to cool enough to handle, then remove the skin from the pepper and squash (if you haven't already done so). Chop the vegetable pieces into bite sized chunks. Discard the skin and any crispy, blackened bits of vegetable.

  5. Defrost the spinach at room temperature on kitchen roll (to help soak the water up). Once the spinach has defrosted, squeeze as much water as possible from it. Either wrap it in a large clean cloth and squeeze, or lay the spinach out on kitchen paper, top it with more kitchen paper and press down really firmly. Repeat until the spinach feels fairly dry.

Assemble and Bake
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C for fan assisted, or 200 C for a standard oven.

  2. Remove the pastry from the fridge and on a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out until it's large enough to easily cover the tart tin base (including sides!).

  3. Slide the rolling pin under the pastry and use it to gently lift the pastry up and lay it over the tin. Gently but firmly press the pastry into the base and sides. Use a fork to firmly press the edges of the crust onto the rim of the tin. 

  4. Balance the tin on your non dominant palm, supported by your fingertips. Using a sharp knife, follow the edge of the tin with the blade to cut away the excess pastry. Angle the blade away from the centre as you cut. 

  5. Place the pastry lined tin on an oven safe tray and add the filling. Either mix the onion, pepper, squash, spinach and feta together and then pour in, or layer the ingredients into the tart as you prefer. 

  6. Crack the eggs into a large jug, then add the cream, pepper, thyme and garlic powder (if using) and beat together well. Carefully pour the mixture over the filled tart.

  7. Using a fork, gently press the filling down into the egg mixture, creating a leveled surface.

  8. Place the tart (on the tray) into the oven. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes. You may want to cover the tart loosely with tinfoil for the last 10 minutes if the surface colours too much. 

  9. Once cooked, remove the tart from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

13th October, 2017
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2 Comments

  • Reply Amy SeeksNewTreats

    This looks So. Damn. Tasty. Great tip about the cows milk feta too! I never knew such a thing existed but am in a similar boat with “cheddar only, mozzarella If you don’t tell me that’s what it is” Bert. Will certainly look for it. Also love the pastry advise too. I was brought up with a butter lard split, but will give this a go instead as the only other recipe I ever require lard for is welsh cakes!

    13th October, 2017 at 6:22 pm
    • Reply Eat Explore Etc

      Thank you! 😀 In the UK you’ll probably want to check out “Greek style cheese” varieties – as feta is really a sheep/goat (not cow) mix. Lard is one of those things that I really should have used in the Parkin I made today but it’s just so not worth buying stuff like that (to me) for just one dish. I hate buying stuff that only gets used in one thing! Though I’m not against using lard should I have a raft of things that would make use of it. 🙂

      13th October, 2017 at 6:59 pm

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