About two weeks ago, as I was doing my grocery shopping I came across a couple of bunches of nice fresh watercress. Then I remembered a kind of pie that I had in Crete which was made with nettles and spinach. Then I thought why not try to mix spinach and this cress and create a croustade type dish and top it with some buffalo mozzarella. I have to say that I was surprised with the result.
For four you will need :
- 400g of Fresh Puff Pastry.
- 250g Baby Spinach.
- 200g Watercress.
- 6 Leaves of Fresh Mint.
- 200g of Buffalo Mozzarella.
- 1 Egg.
- 100 ml Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Salt, Pepper and Nutmeg.
So, this is how it goes. First wash very thoroughly the spinach and the watercress in lots of water with a dash of vinegar and a pinch of rock salt. Then dry them very well. Cook them, for 3-4 minutes in a very hot pan, stirring at all time, with a bit of olive oil in small loads. Reserve in a sieve to allow them to drain of their excess water. When they cool down a little bit squeeze the wilted leaves with your hand to get the rest of the excess water out.
The second operation is to dice up half of the mozzarella and get 4 thick slices with the rest of it.
Take the puff pastry, roll it down into a square of about 8 inches a side. Divide it in 4 equal parts that you will roll down to a half centimeter thick. Let them rest for half an hour.
The next step is to mix well the leaves, the coarsely chopped mint, the dices of mozzarella and season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Now, lets form our croustade. First brush the pastry squares with some egg wash, place some of the watercress mix in the center and top it with a slice of mozzarella. Then bring each corner of the pastry to the middle of the croustade and squeeze the excess of dough created until it stick well. Then press it with a fork to obtain a nice lined corner like on the picture. Repeat for each angles of the square. The last step is to brush our croustade with some egg wash.
Place delicately our croustade onto a greased oven tray and place them into a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 to 40 minutes depending on your oven.
Et Voila! So if you try this recipe please let me know how you enjoyed it (or not).
Anybody who believes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach flunked geography.