spinach pastry log flattened

Religious holidays are often marked by family meals and in 2022, Easter, Passover and Ramadan all overlapped together. Religious or not, family dinners are a healthy holdover from ancient traditions, if only socially and not always nutritionally. A local Palestinian food writer, herself the product of a Christian father and Muslim mom unifying two of three heritages born in the Middle East, had written a piece about the culinary and social pleasures of Ramadan leading up to Easter Sunday, and on Good Friday our good friend Reem treated us to a delightful evening of conversation and Palestinian food, complete with leftovers to bring home afterwards. This spinach log was Saturday's day before prep activity, executed by Ani and her mom Isgouhi.

Linda Chirinian wrote her only cookbook Secrets of Cooking Armenian / Lebanese / Persian way back in 1987, and we discovered it and gifted many copies to friends and relatives since it had so many authentic and easily executed recipes that overlapped with the Sarkahian Armenian Lebanese tradition brought to us by Isgouhi. Ani and Isgouhi have followed carefully this spinach in pastry recipe with the same beautiful results aesthetically numerous times, but it is so much quicker and easier to take the puff pastry shortcut in a 9x11 glass pan. Hence flattened. Although calling the original format a log is a bit of a stretch since it is anything but round.

This version also is scaled down in terms of the filling. Those of you who understand dough can figure out how to convince the pastry ingredients to do their thing and try the full size product.


Linda's original recipe   the quick flattened version
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour   1 package 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
8 T butter, sliced and chilled    
1 egg    
1/4 c dry white wine    
1 1/2 T vegetable oil    
1/8 t salt or to taste    
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten for glaze    
1/2 c olive oil   2 T olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped   1 medium onion, chopped
3 10 oz packages frozen spinach. thawed and squeezed dry   1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed etc
1/2 c pine nuts or coursely chopped walnuts   1/2 c pine nuts
1/2 c lemon juice   1/2 lemon, juice of
1/2 t paprika   1/4 t paprika
1/8 t cayenne or to taste   1/8 t cayenne
pinch of sour salt (citric acid optional)   pinch of citric acid
salt to taste   salt and pepper, allspice to taste
    1/2 c feta cheese crumbed


  1. Since this is the flattened version, buy Linda's cookbook to do the pastry crust. It is worth it. The original format is quite stunning, see the illustrations.
  2. Make sure the puff pastry is thawed in advance.
  3. Toast the pine nuts.
  4. Prep the spinach.
  5. Saute the onion in olive oil and then toss in the spinach, pine nuts, and spices and cook them a few minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice.
  7. Lay out the bottom layer of the puff pastry in the 9x11 glass or nonstick pan.
  8. Spread out the filling evenly, then sprinkle the crumbled feta evenly as well.
  9. Top off with the second layer pressed into place around the edges.
  10. Glaze the top with the beaten egg yolk.
  11. Bake in a preheated 350° oven 40 minutes or until golden brown.


  1. Linda Chiridian, Spinach in Pastry (Shominov Khumoreghen) Secrets of Cooking Armenian / Lebanese / Persian p. 160.
  2. Reem Kassis, Philly Inquirer, April 2022:  Ramadan's nightly meals bring together friends, family, and nostalgia.
  3. It turns out that we know someone who knows Reem, so are we at one or two degrees of separation? I forget the rule.
  4. Illustrations available.
spinachlog.htm: 17-apr-2022 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]