Mini Spinach-and-Herb Pies

These terrific little pastries, stuffed with spinach and two cheeses, are made throughout the town of Chania in Crete. Every cook has a version (some use onions; some don't). Chef Evelina Makrinaki adds a splash of brandy to the dough, making it a little fluffy.

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  • Active:
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  • Servings: Makes 12 mini pies

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Ingredients

dough
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
filling

  • 5 ounces curly spinach, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1/4 pound Greek feta cheese, finely crumbled
  • 1/4 pound manouri or mild feta cheese, finely crumbled 
  • 1/2 small onion, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fennel fronds or dill
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • Sesame seeds, for sprinkling

How to make this recipe

  1. Make the dough In a bowl, whisk the 2 cups of flour with the salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the water and oil, using a wooden spoon to gradually incorporate them into the flour until a shaggy dough starts to form. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until a soft dough forms, about 2 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Make the filling In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the egg wash and sesame seeds and mix well.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12-by-16-inch rectangle, a scant 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into twelve 4-inch squares. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling into the center of each square; bring up the 4 corners to meet in the center, then pinch together to seal. Arrange the pies on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  4. Bake the pies for about 30 minutes, until lightly browned and the filling is hot. Let cool for at least 5 minutes, then serve warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead

The pies can be baked early in the day.

Suggested Pairing

Try this dish with a vibrant, orange peel-scented white from Crete.

Contributed By Photo © Gustav Wiking Published May 2015





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