The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Spinach and feta spirals

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Spinach and feta spirals

Not bread, but still baked and yummo!

This is a derivation of the Greek classic, spanakopita. The filling is the same, but instead of using filo pastry I make a basic flour/water/olive oil dough and roll it out in long rectangles to fashion these spirals (just lay the spinach/feta filling along the strip of dough, and roll up like sushi, then roll the dough tube of filling side-on to form the spirals). Simple, and one of my favourites, especially with a green mixed salad picked straight from the garden and dressed up with EVO, seeded mustard, balsamic vinegar, fresh squeeze of lemon, a little sugar, marjoram, seasoning, and a bit of feta crumbled in. We are lucky enough to have an unseasonal tomato crop in the backyard at the moment, so I chopped one of those precious treats in as well.

Cheers all!
Ross

PS: Forgot the main point of the post! This meal was about as locavore as it gets for an urban dweller. The filling included some bread crumbs from a home-baked sourdough loaf, and a large proportion of the ingredients came from our garden: the spinach (actually rainbow silver beet), lemon, marjoram, mixed lettuce leaves and tomatoes. As anyone who grows their own veges and herbs knows, it's immensely satisfying to compile a meal using so much of your own produce. Pathetic, I guess, but I'm really proud of our backyard organic garden. It's even more of a buzz than raising the illicit backyard plant or two way back when...and this time, good for you!

 

 

 

 

Comments

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

and garden!  Oh, my what a lovely meal.  Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden photos.

Funny, I was just thinking about the Greek classic, yesterday and wanted it baked in Floyd's blueberry, cream cheese, bread recipe for the braid..I like your version with the -feta- roll on the side of all those lovely greens.

Sylvia

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Any positive comment from you is a big plus for me indeed. Your baking always looks fabuloso!

Wish I'd thought to take a crumb, err, cross-sectional pic. It's not possible to see how thick the filling is in the spirals. Anyway, one with salad makes quite a filling meal. We have the leftover spirals cold, for lunch. Just about as good as hot out of the oven. Good picnic food, too.

Re the garden, the next BIG treat is broad beans. Looks like a bumper crop this year, and so far no black spot! There is really nothing better as far as I'm concerned than fresh young broad beans just picked and shelled, lightly boiled and doused with garlic-infused olive oil, a touch of balsamic vinegar, a touch of pepper, a couple of torn rocket leaves and some shavings of pecorino or romano cheese to finish it off. I can't imagine any Michelin Star restaurant bettering that simple delicacy. Then again, gimme a few hundred bucks and the opportunity and I'd be happy to put that assertion to the test...and even happier to be proven wrong!

I'll leave you with a couple of broad bean pics from a good backyard crop a few years ago.

 

 

Cheers!
Ross

 

yozzause's picture
yozzause

I can almost taste those beans Ross, one of my favourites. Nice to see you on TFL again  hope you are feeling well again.Spirals look good too i bet the cross section would have been a good view. By the bye have you had a try with the Rye?  

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Yeah, freshly picked young broad beans in their prime are one of the great delicacies, I reckon. And I'm feeling better now - thanks.

You must be counting down to freedom?

I'll PM you about the rye.

Cheers!
Ross

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

and so delicious looking!  Great photo!

Sylvia

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Best of baking to you!

Ross

Syd's picture
Syd

Looks lovely, Ross.  Your garden looks beautiful, too.  Yes, it is immensely satisfying when the entire meal comes from your own produce.  That beet looks like Swiss chard.  Those broad beans are spectacular. 

Best,

Syd

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

And yep, you're quite right - Swiss chard is another name for what we call rainbow silverbeet.

Cheers!
Ross

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I certainly agree it's uniquely satifying to eat things from one's own garden. I wish I had more room to grow a greater variety than I do.

It's about time to look for chard plants or seeds and to pull out the tomato plants to make room for Fall veggies.

David

Salilah's picture
Salilah

Sadly not time yet here (UK) for taking out the tomato plants - we've had such a dreadful summer that most are still very small and green!

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

A quick clarification: the spirals are not rolls. They are a pastry casing; inside is spanakopita filling, and not just a thin layer rolled up as in a swiss roll. I use as much of the filling to make three of these spirals as in a traditional spanakopita with filo to serve 4. So, they're basically spiral spinach and feta tubular pies. Or maybe the term 'rolls' has wider application in the States than here, where it refers to small bready buns that may be plain or enriched? Whatever, my fault for not taking a cross-sectional pic! Next time...

On tomatoes.  This may not work where you are in California, but if I'm right in thinking your climate is similar to ours you might like to try a planting strategy with tomatoes that runs contrary to all the planting guides, but which we tried this year with stunning results. When you pull this year's spent crop out, put another crop IN! Yes, coming into winter! We planted seeds in early autumn after ripping our summer tomato crop out, partly as an experiment and partly out of perversity. I've been unable to resist trumpeting the results a couple of times (once in your pizza thread), so you know the story - a small but utterly delightful winter crop of San Marzanos and another variety that are both still yielding! The fruit is not quite as abundant, firm or well-developed in the sugars as in warmer, sunnier conditions, but still far better in flavour than supermarket tomatoes, and such a bonus through winter.

Only difference in gardening strategy is to not use mulch in winter and to leave most of the watering to nature. A lot of the summer pests are not present during winter, so that's another plus.

Our winter temperature extremes range from 0C to 25C or so (32-75F), with spasmodic heavy rain mixed in with quite a few fine days. If your conditions are, indeed, simliar, definitely worth a go!

Cheers!
Ross

Salilah's picture
Salilah

Sounds brilliant!  No chance here sadly - inside the greenhouse it will get to -5C quite happily!

Have you read Eliot Coleman's books on Winter Harvest?  With a bit of protection, you could be growing fresh salads and lots of veg all the way through the winter!  I use a layer of fleece (thin cover) over wires inside the greenhouse and can get a few leaves in winter - our challenge here is not so much the temperature as the lack of daylight (too far north :( )

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I haven't read Eliot Coleman, but we have very different conditions here, mostly because of the gutless "Bassendean Grey" soil - apparently the worst in the world! Also, our summers are extreme, so we have to erect protective shadecloth shelters over even sun-loving veges! So, at the other end of the spectrum from you. With our relatively mild winters you can plant a lot of veges all winter long without any extra protection, and daylight is never an issue.

I think we are just coming to terms with the realisation that the traditional planting season strategies do not necessarily apply here. That has not always been so. As is the case more or less globally, our climate has changed significantly in recent years, and the tried and true gardening approaches in the manuals often no longer apply.

Good thing is, wherever we are geographically (almost), we can adapt gardening practices to suit local climatic conditions. It's fantastic that we have this back-to-the-future backyard herb and vege gardening movement building momentum globally. I really think the importance of this cannot be overstated. And BTW, I think home baking of artisan bread is another facet of this movement to wrest back control of our food production. Viva la Revolucion!

Cheers
Ross

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Ross,
Admiring your beautifully-shaped pastries, and the perfect greens growing in your garden.
Everything looks incredibly appetizing.
:^) from breadsong

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Thanks so much for your generous acknowledgement.

Cheers!
Ross