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|
|1/4 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|