Spinach, blue cheese & pine nut empanadas

Spinach, blue cheese & pine nut empanadas

At the table

By
From
Basque
Serves
6
Photographer
Laura Edwards

I use urdiña cheese for this recipe. It’s a blue cheese made with raw sheep’s milk – big and strong flavours, my favourite. If it’s tricky to find, buy a strong stilton. I love English cheese too, so this works really well as an alternative.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
olive oil
1.2kg spinach
200g soft blue cheese, crumbled
100g toasted pine nuts
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
good grating of fresh nutmeg
1 free-range egg, beaten to glaze

For the pastry

Quantity Ingredient
500g plain flour, plus extra to dust
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
200g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 ree-range egg
75ml cold water
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 free-range egg yolk, beaten

Method

  1. Make the pastry first. Tip the flour and salt into a bowl and rub the butter in with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs. Mix the egg with the cold water and vinegar, add to the bowl and mix in quickly with a flat knife. Bring together with your hands and knead briefly until smooth, then shape into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a little oil in a very large pan and sauté the spinach until it is really wilted (you may need to do this in batches). Place in a colander and squeeze out as much liquid as you can, then finely chop and tip into a bowl.
  3. Add the cheese and pine nuts to the warm spinach and season with salt, pepper and lots of fresh nutmeg. Allow to cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  5. Divide the dough into 6 even pieces and place under a damp tea towel to stop them drying out. One at a time, roll them out on a lightly floured surface until they are 16–18 cm in diameter. Place a sixth of the mixture into the centre of one half of the circle. Brush the edge with beaten egg yolk, then fold over and crimp with your fingers.
  6. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
  7. Brush the empanadas all over with the beaten egg and bake for 25–30 minutes until golden. Cool a little before serving.
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