Spinach & Feta Turnovers {ModBak}

This week’s recipe for Modern Baker Mondays is another savory offering. And as excited as I was about making the Caramelized Onion & Gorgonzola Tart last week, I was kind of so-so about these Spinach & Feta Turnovers. I love turnovers; I could live on spinach (I’ve loved it since I was a child); and anything made with puff pasty is OK in my book.

So I wasn’t sure what exactly was holding me back. Then it occurred to me: I don’t really like feta. There, I said it. Call me a rube, call me a blasphemer. I’m just not that crazy about the stuff. I don’t hate it, and I even make things with it from time to time. But I often find it so bitingly acidic that it overpowers every other flavor and texture in the dish.

I even thought about substituting goat cheese or blue cheese in this recipe, but I decided to make it as Nick intended. I found a somewhat mild feta, and I hoped that baking it into the turnover would tone it down even more.

After rolling out the puff pastry and putting it in the fridge to chill, I began assembling the filling. I started by mixing dill, green onions, feta, and pepper in a bowl (no salt, as the feta is plenty salty on its own).

I set the feta mixture aside while I sautéed spinach in olive oil until it had wilted and cooked down considerably. It wasn’t until I was finished cooking the spinach that I read the part of the recipe that says to chop the spinach before you sauté it. No matter: I grabbed my kitchen shears and chopped it in the pan before adding it to the feta mixture and stirring in an egg.

Now it was time to assemble the turnovers. I got the dough out of the refrigerator, lined a baking sheet with Silpat, and made an egg wash with beaten egg and a pinch of salt.

I cut the edges of the dough straight, then divided the dough into six squares (I made a half batch).

To make each turnover, I brushed the edges of a square of dough with egg wash, then put a dollop of filling near one of the corners.

I folded the corner over, then sealed the edges by pressing the dough together with my fingertips.

I was surprised by how much filling I had left after making all 6 turnovers. I thought about saving it for something else, but in the end I just pitched it.

I baked the turnovers at 375˚F for 15 minutes, then turned the pan around and baked for another 10 minutes.

Feta or no, the turnovers smelled really good baking, and I could hardly wait to try them.

And I was delighted and surprised by the taste. The puff pastry was, of course, buttery and flaky. And the filling tasted of spinach and onions and only a bit cheesy, but not in a bitingly acidic way.

I had two turnovers for dinner. My 7 year old asked if she could try one, so I plated one for her and set it on the dining room table. I didn’t expect her to like it, as she isn’t a big fan of spinach, at least not by itself. But I was barely back in the kitchen when she appeared, plate in hand, asking for another one! (My kids are adventurous eaters, but even they surprise me from time to time.)

If it hadn’t been part of the puff pastry section of the Modern Baker Challenge, I doubt that I would have made this recipe. But having tasted these delicious turnovers, I’m sure I’ll be making them again.

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15 Comments

  1. Kayte said,

    November 1, 2011 at 6:51 am

    I love feta…always have a big block of it in the frig that I hack into almost daily for something or other. It takes us awhile to get through the big block, but my security lies in the fact that it is in there waiting! lol You can forget sweet turnovers for breakfast for me (something about all that sugar first thing in the morning is not appealing at all), but I would love love love one of these for breakfast! Your photo of them is so enticing. Cute about A liking them so much.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      I took the leftovers to work and ate one room temp at my desk, reheated the other for lunch. It was delicious both ways.

  2. Renee said,

    October 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    I know what you mean! My three year old picky eater loved these and she won’t touch spinach (or anything green) usually. They were super yummy!

    • gaaarp said,

      October 27, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      I love that my kids want to try new things. I think it’s because we’ve exposed them to lots of different foods sine they were little and we don’t try to push stuff on them.

  3. Pamela said,

    October 25, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Yes, the look fantastic. I am a really big feta fan, but Marc isn’t. Even so, there are some dishes he tries where he finds the feta to be tasty. I bet this would be one of them. My mouth is watering!

    • gaaarp said,

      October 25, 2011 at 9:03 am

      If you like feta, you’d like this dish. And he might just tolerate it, too!

  4. Liz said,

    October 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Mmmmm…these turnovers look marvelous!!!

  5. Abby said,

    October 24, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I don’t like feta at all (usually sub in something else), but yours look so good and I do love spinach…maybe I’ll try them as-written, too!

    • gaaarp said,

      October 24, 2011 at 11:15 am

      I’m sure you could use a less offensive cheese in place of the feta.

  6. teaandscones said,

    October 24, 2011 at 9:47 am

    We were supposed to chop the spinach!! Well, I missed that part too. Didn’t matter they were still good. I am not a big Feta fan either, but I like it IN things. Yours are beautifully brown. Aren’t we glad we made these after all?

    • gaaarp said,

      October 24, 2011 at 9:54 am

      Definitely! And if A has anything to say about it, I’ll be making them again soon.

  7. October 24, 2011 at 9:44 am

    […] Modern Bakers has already made these turnovers: Renee at Every Pot and Pan (is dirty) and Phyl of Cabbages and Kings posted his just this morning, too. The rest will get there eventually.If you have a copy of […]

  8. October 24, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Yummy, yummy, yummy!!!! Your turnovers looks so flaky, generously filled and inviting!

    • gaaarp said,

      October 24, 2011 at 8:21 am

      Thanks! They were quite delicious.


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