Saturday, November 11, 2017

To make a Tarte of Spinage

From A Proper new booke of Cookery, England, 1545:

Take spynage and parboyle it tender, then take it vp and wringe out the water cleane and chopp it very small and set it vppon the fyer with swete butter in a frying pan and ceason it and set it in a platter to coole, than fyll vp your Tarte and so bake it.

My Redaction:

1 9" pie crust
2 lbs spinach
6 tbs butter

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

Bring several quarts of water to a boil in a pot. Working in batches that fit your pot, parboil the spinach for about 30 seconds per batch, then place in a strainer. When all the spinach is boiled, press out as much of the water as you can, then let it drain for 20 minutes or so. Chop the drained spinach moderately fine, then fry in the butter on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the spinach has dried further and is beginning to brown a little. Remove from heat and add the spices to taste.

Meanwhile, bake the empty pie crust for 10 minutes at 300 degrees to protect it from moisture. Put the spinach into the crust and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.


This is an unusual recipe in that the main ingredient is actually cooked three different ways before it's done. It's a somewhat laborious way to turn a large amount of spinach into a small tart, but the dish is improved by each cooking step.

It might be slightly truer to the original to wrap the spinach in cheesecloth and wring in out after the parboiling, but if you have time to let it sit and drain I don't believe it will make much of a difference - the water will cook out in the frying anyway.

Any standard pie crust will work; I use a Joy of Cooking recipe.

No comments:

Post a Comment