Monday, December 21, 2009

Spinach Pies

On our trips to Chicago we always visit a Lebanese bakery. We buy a ton of thin whole wheat pita bread (it's only $1 a bag and it keeps great in the freezer). They also have a number of speciality baked goods, including spinach pies - a slightly sour mixture of onions and spinach enclosed in a thin pizza-like dough. Alfred loves their spinach pies, and I've been wanting to make him some. Now that the semester is finally over (yes!), I had the time to do it! As you may know I am avoiding wheat right now, so these are out for me (and they smell so good, ah the torture), but they are a special treat for my sweet husband this holiday season!

The dough takes a little time - mostly just waiting for it to rise, but all around these are quite easy to make.

Spinach Pies (Makes 24 pies, I halved the recipe):
11/2 t. yeast
1 t. sugar
3/4 C. warm water
31/2 C. flour
1 t. salt
1/2 C. oil
1/2 C. milk (non-dairy for a vegan version)

2lbs. spinach, rinsed and chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 T. Olive Oil
2 T. Lemon juice
3 T. Sumac (this is a middle eastern spice that is both salty and sour, you can substitute with 1 T. salt and little extra lemon juice if you can't get any)
A little black pepper

Mix together the yeast, sugar, and warm water let sit a few minutes. To the yeast mixture add the milk, oil, flour, and salt. Knead dough a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour.

Meanwhile combine all of the filling ingredients and let sit while the dough rises.

After an hour, divide the dough into 24 pieces. Use your hand to roll each piece into a ball, and then use a rolling pin to roll out each ball until it is quite thing, and about 8 inches in diameter. Place a heaping spoonful of the filling in the middle of each piece of rolled out dough, gather the edges of the dough on top of the filling and pinch to close (they are supposed to look like a triangle, but you could also just fold the dough over like a hand-pie).

Brush each pie with a little egg glaze (just a beaten egg), and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown! These taste great warm and cold, and they keep well for a few days in the fridge.

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