Next in our series on appetizers for this holiday season is an all-time favorite at Circle B parties….spinach-feta cheese rolls. Oh my, these are ever so good. A puff pastry crust encircles an amazingly flavorful center of spinach and feta cheese, accented with green onions and lemon juice. It’s a bit of a play on the Greek spanakopita, which is more like a savory pie, but this version here comes with a bit of a Wow! factor.
The puff pastry makes this so easy to put together. Start by making the filling… One little suggestion before you make the filling, though. If you have access to different kinds of feta cheese, opt for a French feta or a nice sheep’s milk Greek one. The only feta cheese that won’t really work here is the kind that comes crumbled in a plastic container. It’s just too dry and won’t melt into the filling properly.
While the puff pastry dough is thawing, make your filling. Then roll out the dough (this will make two rolls) to about 13” square. Cut this in half and place half the filling on the long edge of each piece.
Roll this up and place it on your baking sheet, brush with a little milk and make little score lines on the top of the pasty.
Bake, cool, slice and serve. Pretty easy, huh?
Don’t let the easy part fool you, these are as impressive visually as they are to eat. The flavors and textures all just work together in perfect symbiotic harmony, which just doesn’t happen often enough in life. Sigh.
SPINACH FETA CHEESE ROLLS
1 T olive oil
¾ cup thinly sliced green onions
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 ¼ cups feta cheese, crumbled
1 T fresh lemon juice
¼ t ground nutmeg
1 lg. Egg yolk
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon whole milk
Heat oil in med. Skillet over med. Heat. Add green onions; saute 1 min. Transfer to large bowl. Let cool and stir in spinach, cheese, lemon juice and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the egg yolk.
Preheat oven to 400 and butter baking sheet. Roll out pastry on floured surface to 13” square. Cut pastry in half lengthwise, creating two 13x6 ½ -in. strips. Divide filling equally between strips.
Spread filling evenly over pastry, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Brush edges of pastry with milk. Starting at one long side, roll up each pastry jelly roll style. Press edges firmly to seal. Place pastries on baking sheet, seam side down. Using sharp knife, cut 1-in. long crosswise score lines in tops of pastries, spacing ¾ in. apart.
Brush pastries with milk. Bake until golden, about 25 min. Cool slightly. Cut into slices on score lines and serve warm.