Spinach Puffs

If you’re looking for an easy appetizer to get made ahead of time for the holidays, look no further.  It’s hard to go wrong with these Spinach Puffs, which are very kid friendly and much easier to make than traditional spanakopita, which uses filo dough.  These are simple, fresh tasting and surrounded by puff pastry, which always makes everything better.

I love having a solid “vegetable” on the table to make me feel less guilty about eating my mashed potatoes with side of stuffing and these somehow manage to do that, even though they’re little puffs of buttery goodness.  After all, that’s what the holidays are all about!  I typically make these in bulk and freeze them – they are very handy to have when unexpected company arrives or to round out my holiday appetizers.   You won’t regret adding these to your to-do list.  Happy holidays!

Spinach Puffs

Yield: 12-16 bite size puffs

Ingredients:

  • 1 - 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh  garlic, pressed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 - 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold (leave it in the fridge to thaw)

Directions:

  1. Press the thawed spinach against a strainer with your hands until all of the water is out - you want to get as much out as possible so you don't have a soggy filling.
  2. Mix the spinach, feta, scallions, olive oil, parsley, garlic and some salt and pepper - taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings as you please.
  3. Beat one of the eggs in a small bowl and then fold it into the spinach mixture.
  4. Roll out the defrosted puff pastry dough on a floured surface and cut it into 12  squares if you're planning on using mini muffin tins.  I started by cutting my  first sheet into 3 long strips and then into 4 smaller squares.  Depending on ho much filling you use in each puff, you might need to use the second sheet of puff pastry.
  5. Place a square of dough into the muffin tin, push it against the sides and leave the corners draped over the edge - then spoon some of the spinach mixture into the center and fold the corners of the dough over the filling and pinch them together in the center.
  6. Once you've used up all of the filling, beat the remaining egg with a tbsp of water and brush the tops of the puff pastry with the egg wash and bake at 400°F until the pastry is golden and puffed - approximately 20 minutes.
  7. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan to loosen and turn them out onto a rack to cool a bit before serving.

* If you're planning on serving these at a later date, do not brush with egg wash and just freeze them in the muffin tins wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil.  If you want to remove them from the pans, freeze them first and then pop them out once frozen and store them in plastic freezer bags.  You can bake these frozen, just don't forget to brush them with the egg wash before baking them and you might need to add a few minutes to the bake time.  Alternatively, you can totally defrost them and bake as originally directed.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.