Monday, July 5, 2010

Kid-Friendly Spinach Tart

What a great and easy way to help kids eat veggies! Children and adults love pies, and this one is loaded with vitamins and minerals from spinach, herbs and asparagus. If your kids don''t enjoy asparagus, use your creativity and ask them what veggies they would like in the pie. You may end up with an even better dish!

Spinach Tart
Servings: 12 portions
  • 1 11-ounce package piecrust mix, for 2 crusts, or ready-to-use frozen pie crust (try whole wheat versions!).
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh herb or 2 teaspoons dried herb (such as tarragon, thyme, basil, oregano, or marjoram)
  • 10 ounces torn fresh spinach
  • 1 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
  • 1/4 cup light dairy sour cream
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Fresh French wild asparagus or fresh dill (optional)
Prepare piecrust mix according to package directions, except add 1 tablespoon of the fresh herb or 1 teaspoon of the dried herb to dry ingredients. Divide pastry in half. Form each half into a ball.
For filling, add spinach to 1 inch of boiling water in a large saucepan; cover and steam for 2 to 4 minutes or just until limp. Drain thoroughly, squeezing out excess water.
In a medium mixing bowl stir together cream cheese, sour cream, garlic, salt, pepper, and remaining fresh herb or dried herb. Stir in the spinach and water chestnuts.

To prepare in a tart pan: On a lightly floured surface, flatten each ball of dough with hands. Roll dough from center to edges, forming two circles about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer one circle to an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom; spread with spinach filling. Moisten edge with water. Place remaining pastry circle atop filling. Trim edges, reserving trimmings for pastry cutouts. Seal and flute edges. Cut slits in top to allow steam to escape. If desired, use hors'oeuvres cutters or a sharp knife to cut pastry trimmings into tiny shapes. To attach pastry cutouts, combine beaten egg with water and brush atop crust. Place cutouts atop brushed surface.
Brush any remaining egg mixture onto pastry. Bake in a 425 degree F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Garnish with fresh French wild asparagus or fresh dill, if desired.

Sources: Better Homes and Gardens, Yahoo

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