For Halloween (yeah, I’m still playing catch up here), we joined friends for the largest- and probably best – party in years. For once, everyone made an effort, not just the kids, with full costumes and make up to match, to the point that we had to name check ourselves just to figure out who we were knocking back shots of lychee martinis with. Martinis which by the way, were almost deadly, but nowhere near as good as the sangria station – heaven.
These puff pastry coils, filled with spinach, feta and pine nuts, were my contribution to the party. May I just say I cradled them in the car on the way over, deposited them on the buffet table set up for the party and then never saw them again? Modesty, schmodesty – these were the first to disappear, to both my joy and my despair as I hardly got to taste them.
Which is great, because they were hardly done according to plan. Puff pastry, my friend, my foe – you were not the plan. Normally, I would have never attempted to make my own puff pastry. As I found myself about halfway through making the dough for what I thought was going to be regular pie pastry, I realised the error of my ways and the fact that I hadn’t read the second page of instructions (rookie mistake right there…). As such, folding, rolling and laminating steps stretched in front of me for hours, because I was not about to throw out a whole packet of butter. I am not that person. Seriously, if you decide to use shop-bought pastry, I will totally cheer you on.
However, if you’ve got the muscle for it, go for it. And as a bonus for all your efforts, there’s a recipe for a delicious spinach, feta and pine nut pie. Although, you can whip out the shop pastry and that’s just fine too.
For 6 medium pastry coils, or 4 medium ones and 1 big kahuna, you’ll need:
600g spinach (I used frozen)
75g pine nuts, toasted
2 x 500g ready-made puff pastry
Preheat oven at 210C.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Over medium heat, sauté the spinach until fully thawed.
Remove spinach into a colander and leave to drain of all moisture. You will need to help this along – try squeezing the liquid out with your hands, when the spinach has cooled.
In a bowl, crumble the feta cheese, add pine nuts, spinach and 2 eggs and mix well to combine.
On a lightly floured worktop, roll out the puff pastry in 2 batches. I used 1 block for 1 large pastry coil and divided the 2nd block in 4 equal portions for 4 coils.
Start by positioning one rectangle of pastry in front of you, one long side aligned closest to you.
Spoon filling along the long side closest to you, then fold pastry on top and roll in a tight sausage shape.
Making sure the seam is on the bottom, coil pastry into a tight spiral and tuck the end underneath to seal.
Place on baking tray.
Use the remaining egg to make some egg wash and brush the pastry coil.
Repeat with remaining dough portions.
Bake for approx. 25 – 30 mins, until golden and flaky crisp. If you make a larger coil, it will need closer to 40 mins to bake and I suggest you cover with foil about half way through to avoid over-browning it.
They’re brilliant as lunch, served hot, but work equally well at room temperature as starter or finger food.