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Recipe for cooking spinach pies

Recipes from the Middle East and North Africa :: Middle Eastern Vegetable Dishes


Posted by FootsieBear at recipegoldmine.com 8/26/2001 3:02 pm

Source: Lebanese Mountain Cooking

Some consider the pine nuts in this recipe optional, but as an addition they are visual and flavorful delight. Makes 12-15 pies, freezes well.

1/2 recipe Basic Savory Pie Dough (recipe follows)
2 lbs. fresh spinach or 3 (10 ounce) pkg. frozen spinach
1 c. finely chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper (optional)
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
1/3 c. pine nuts browned in 3 Tbsp.
    butter and drained (optional)
Lemon wedges

Basic Savory Pie Dough (Aajeen)
5 c. flour
1 Tbsp. salt
2 tsp. dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 c. lukewarm water
2 c. lukewarm water or milk
1/4 c. olive oil

(makes 25 four in. or 40 three in. pies)

Combine flour and salt in large bowl. In another bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/4 c. lukewarm water. Let sit 5 mins. Stir yeast mixture into remaining water, or milk and add to flour mixture. Mix well with wooden spoon and turn onto floured board. Knead well for 8-10 mins., until dough is very elastic and smooth. Place in greased bowl and cover with dry towel. Set dough in warm spot until it has doubled. Punch down and form into a ball. Let dough rest 10 mins. Divide dough into 25 or 40 pieces. Coat hands with oil and form each piece into a ball. Cover dough with dry towel and let rise 1/2 an hour. Roll balls into circles 1/4 in. thick for fatayer or fill and form into meat or spinach pies.

Divide pie dough into 12-15 balls and roll into 4 in. circles about 1/8-1/4 in. thick.

Wash, Drain and chop fresh spinach or cook frozen spinach, drain and chop. Lightly squeeze out moisture and place in large bowl. Add onion, salt and optional pepper to spinach. Mix well and let stand a few mins. Stir in lemon juice and oil. Add browned pine nuts if desired. It should taste like a good salad.

Place a small amount of spinach mixture in center of each round of dough. Form a triangular pie by drawing two sides of dough to the center and pin.ing shut a seam from center to the corner. Then draw up the remaining flap of dough and pin. shut the remaining seams, leaving a small opening to vent the pie in the center. Or make vertical pleats of dough around the filling to form a round open tart. (The former method is more traditional). Brush with olive oil.

Bake at 375 to 400 degrees fahrenheit for 15 mins. , until brown on top and bottom. Serve warm or cool with lemon wedges.

Servings: 12

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