The original plan was just a pan of spanakopita, I was excited about that. The delicious spinach and feta concoction is one of my favorites. But then I looked on one of my favorite food blogs Smitten Kitchen for a recipe, that was when I found the multiple triangles, including spanakopita. Each type of pastry is a vegetable paired with one of my favorite cheeses. There is caramelized onion and goat cheese, mushroom and blue cheese, and of course, spinach and feta. These were the most perfect pairs, I never want to stop eating them! And then the salad was a simple mistake of a misread ingredient list. I read fennel instead of fennel seeds in the recipe for onion and goat cheese triangles, we went to the store and got this enormously beautiful fennel bulb. We didn’t want it to go to waste, thought of those perfectly firm apples and ding ding ding!!! Fennel, apple salad! The refreshing bite of appley fennel was the perfect balance to the fresh out of the oven pastries. The pastries themselves were a great combination. The caramelized onion with goat cheese was super creamy and sweet counteracting the more savory blue cheese and mushroom combo. And of course, the classic spanakopita fit in with the counteracting flavors of the other triangles.
*Read all sections of the recipe before starting to cook so you can establish an order of cooking if you are making all the types of triangles.
Each recipe makes about 15 small triangles- I made about 6 or 7 making them larger and meal sized.
Adapted liberally from Gourmet and then again from Smitten Kitchen.
Makes about 15 small triangles- I made about 6 or 7 making them larger and meal sized.
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ cup sliced green onions
1 clove garlic, minced
½ lb fresh spinach (if not baby spinach then cut off stems.)
⅜ pound feta, crumbled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Melt one tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat, saute onions and garlic in the butter for a minute making the onions slightly transparent.
2. Add spinach, stirring, until wilted and tender, more or less 6 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and cool, about 10 minutes.
4. Press mixture in mesh colander to remove as much liquid as possible, (I put a bowl on top of it and worked on other preparations for the fillings for a bit).
5. Coarsely chop drained spinach.
6. Transfer to a bowl and stir in feta and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let filling cool and follow instructions for phyllo triangles (below).
Wild Mushroom and Blue Cheese Triangles
1 teaspoon dried wild mushrooms
½ cup boiling water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 1/2 cups baby portabella mushrooms
½ cup blue cheese crumbles
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Soften the dried mushrooms with the boiling water for about 30 minutes.
2. Drain and mince the mushrooms.
3. In a large saute pan over medium heat, saute the green onions with the butter for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the garlic, rosemary and thyme and continue to cook, stirring for another minute.
5. Turn to high heat, add the fresh and soaked mushrooms.
6. Saute until the mushrooms are tender and the liquid they released has completely evaporated, six to eight minutes.
7. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
8. Stir in blue cheese, adjust seasoning to taste, and follow directions for phyllo triangles (below).
Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Triangles
4 tablespoons butter (or use 2 tablespoons oil for the healthier version)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 large yellow onions, chopped small
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
1. Heat butter (or oil) in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted, then sauté fennel seeds until a shade darker, about 30 seconds.
2. Stir in onions, teaspoon salt, and pepper, then reduce heat to medium-low. After adding the onions I used a diffuser to make sure they didn’t burn, but that is not necessary. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very tender and lightly golden brown, sending a mouthwatering aroma throughout the house, about 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Let onions cool. Stir in mustard and goat cheese and follow instructions for phyllo triangles (below).
To make one filling of choice
2-6 (17- by 12-inch) extra thick phyllo sheets,(depending on size) thawed if frozen
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Take one phyllo sheet and arrange on a work surface (I used parchment paper) with a long side nearest you brush with some butter. Cut buttered phyllo crosswise into 4-6 (depending on desired size) strips.
3. Put a heaping teaspoon of filling near one corner of a strip on end nearest you, then fold corner of phyllo over to enclose filling and form a triangle. Continue folding strip (like a flag), maintaining triangle shape. Put triangle, seam side down, on a large baking sheet and brush top with butter.
4.Continue making triangles like this until you run out of filling
5. Bake triangles in middle of oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool slightly.
Fennel Apple Salad
1 fennel bulb
¼ cup blue cheese
1 tablespoon raspberry wine vinegar
2 tablespoon grape seed oil
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons cranberries
Slice the fennel and the apples very thin and put in salad bowl. Mix together vinegar and oil in a small bowl.Then add the blue cheese, toasted almonds and cranberries. Mix the dressing into the fennel and apples. Enjoy with your triangles!