Spinach and cheese tarts, flaky crunchy pastry, these little tartlets serve as a wonderful side with a salad. A great idea is to make them half the size with less filling as an appetizer. The first couple bites will make you smile as you get through the romesca sauce, spinach, cheese flavors and pressed into these tarts are juicy tomatoes and red onion.
Sometimes it seems to take me forever getting through writing recipes because I feel like I've prioritized cooking and creating over writing. Then are the weeks when it seems to be the opposite way around all of this between mixing spices, supply's, toasting, drying and bottling! I love it all so much and try to spread it out because another close to my heart piece of this life puzzle is my newsletter❤️ Getting in touch with you seems closer through my newsletter.
These spinach and cheese tarts take a few minutes...thanks to puff pastry! You have to always have puff pastry in the freezer because it makes life easier and so much more convenient. Also the time factor of which some days there is none, get the pastry out the freezer. It only takes about 30 to 40 minutes to properly thaw depending on where you are in terms of temperature. Once the pastry is thawed, you're good to go.
Puff pastry Besides the convenience, it's that flaky crust that's always tempting.
Cheese Mature cheddar but you can really use your personal favorites when it comes to cheese even Parmesan is great! I use so much Parmesan for other dishes so this cheddar is a lovely change.
Feta Cheese I love the combination of feta cheese with spinach as much as ricotta and spinach so they are both wonderful. I prefer drying my feta, as in tissue paper dabbing to remove the water and then grate it.
Spinach Baby spinach because I had so much and needed to use it again, use what works for you - swiss chard and kale come to mind.
Cherry Tomatoes This addition works perfectly because these tartlets are quite small therefore work better with cherry tomatoes. I prefer part sliced and part whole.
Red onion Love the sweet crispiness when you bake red onion especially when seasoned and a drizzle of olive oil. Go for chives or green onion too.
Romesca Sauce This recipe uses my homemade romesca sauce but you can also get a store bought jar. If you can't find Romesca sauce/paste, you can also use basil pesto or roasted red pepper dip. Making a quick pesto to use as a spread is very quick and easy, spinach and herbs is a good way to use up what you have too. I've shared my Basil Pesto Recipe along with tips and suggestions.
Chili flakes and Garnish A tiny sprinkle of chili flakes once the tart is out the oven along with some greens for garnish.
This recipe uses one sheet of buttered puff pastry and just as a tip, if you are using the other sheet on the same day/time make sure it remains in the packaging until you ready to use it or it will dry out. That or leave it in the fridge. Roll out the puff pastry sheet just to make it a little large, so roll all sides outwards. You cut 4 squares out, add your filling, egg wash them and bake. The filling can be made while you have the pastry reaching room temperature.
Spinach and Cheese Tarts
If you want to get something delicious and very presentable on the table for an evening with friends or family these tarts are a wonderful idea. To prevent them getting soggy I started the first layer with my homemade romesca paste. It's actually supposed to be a sauce but I prefer making mine into a paste because I love having little bits and bobs like that in the fridge. Pastes and dips always come in so handy. Also, I've realized over the years that I'm not one for tender soft pastry. It took me a lifetime but here we are - I prefer crusty bread crusts and solid pastry bases.
Going back to what I said earlier, it's best to make the filling while the pastry thaws. The filling is so easy, I used just one packet of baby spinach which was 200grams and for a small quantity like this you don't need more. There's only so much filling you can add into each square so remember that if you're increasing the quantities.
Tips and Suggestions
Spreading A Paste
I've found that spreading a paste or dip on the base of a tart before adding the filling, is a wonderful way to create those flavor layers that you're looking for. Make sure that the spread complements the filling flavors not overpowers it.
Adding The Filling
The filling must not reach the edges because you need to fold the sides in. Brushing along the edges with egg helps with that as it acts as a guide to not go too close to the sides, so you only fill the center.
More Pastry Recipes
Spinach and Cheese Tarts
- 1 sheet all butter puff pastry thawed
- 200 grams baby spinach
- ¼ cup stock or water
- ¼ red onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup mature cheddar cheese
- ½ cup feta dried and grated
- ¼ cup romesca paste See notes below.
- 1 egg beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- sprinkle of chili flakes
- ⅓ cup chives and parsley
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 392°F
- Cook the Spinach In a pan add the baby spinach, pinch of salt and the stock/water. Cook until the spinach is completely wilted. Add into a colander and leave it to drain while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Tomatoes Rinse and chop the cherry tomatoes. You don't have to chop them all, use them part halved and part whole. Cut the Onion Thinly slice the onion. Cheese Grate the cheddar cheese and dry the feta with kitchen paper and then grate it.
- Roll the Puff Pastry Sprinkle flour a clean surface and roll the puff pastry sheet out, roll one side at a time and keep turning it around until you have it just a little bigger than it was. Filling Cut the sheet into 4 squares and with a pastry brush, brush the edges of each square with the egg. This will also act as a guide to not add the filling too close to the edge.
- Add the filling and fold In each square add the filling in layers;Spread the Romesca sauce, add a little spinach, cheddar cheese and grated feta. Fold the edges up using a fork to gently lift and fold the corners (they are a bit thicker) and use the fork to press the edges in. Top each of the squares with tomato, sliced onion and a tiny sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Brush the sides with egg and drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over each tartlet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Sprinkle of chili flakes once the tartlets are out the oven and fresh herbs.