Spinach Tart

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Here is a dish to dazzle guests. It is much less work than would appear and the results are delectable: delicate, creamy and satisfying. You may have been fortunate enough to enjoy a similar dish at the Greens Restaurant in San Francisco. This recipe (with slight modifications) comes from The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison and Edward Espe Brown.

The green in this tart is spinach. You could use chard as well. Do not use the stronger greens like kale or mustard — they will overwhelm the dish.

There are three separate steps to putting this dish together. Don’t worry — it doesn’t take long.

Step One: The Yeasted Dough

This is a welcomed change from the rich pie crust alternative. Once you’ve tried it, you will be going back to yeasted dough for many of your quiche-type dishes.

Dough Ingredients

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  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast

  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water (about body temperature)
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
  • 3 tablespoon very soft unsalted butter

Dough Steps

  1. Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the water. Set aside.

  2. Mix both flours, salt, and lemon peel in a bowl.
  3. Form a little well in the flour mixture.
  4. Pour in the yeast water and place the soft butter in the well.
  5. Mix everything with a large spoon until a ball forms. (You may need to form it into a ball.)
  6. Set the ball in an oiled bowl and cover it with a clean towel. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch down the dough and re-form into a ball.
  7. Use a 12 inch pan with a removable bottom. Do not oil the pan!
  8. Place the ball of dough in the middle of the pan and press it out over the bottom and up the sides, using your hands. The bottom should be thinner than the sides. Work the dough until the dough is 1/4 inch higher than the top edge of the pan.

If you are not ready with the tart filling, then refrigerate the pan with the dough to stop the rising action of the yeast.

Step Two: The Vegetables

The vegetables for this tart are fully cooked when mixed with the egg and cream. With almost any tart or quiche, this is the case.


  • Six to eight cups spinach leaves, washed, with the stems removed and chopped into bit-sized pieces

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 yellow onion in a medium mince
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy skillet.

  2. Add the onion and cook until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and stir for a moment.
  4. Add the spinach and stir, toss, stir and toss some more until the spinach is tender, about 3 minutes. Do not leave this mixture on the flame. You could burn the most significant part of this dish. Remove from heat when done.

Step Three: The Custard and Tart

Here you combine the vegetable mixture with custard ingredients and then bake in your crust.

Custard, Tart Ingredients

  • 3 fresh eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • A sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced flat-leafed Italian parsley
  • A couple grinds of pepper to suit your palate
  • 3 tablespoon pine nuts

Custard, Tart Steps

  1. Whip up the eggs in a bowl.

  2. Add the cream, lemon peel, cheese, nutmeg and parsley. Whip again.
  3. Add the vegetables, stir and taste for salt. Make adjustments and grind on the pepper.
  4. Pour the custard into the tart pan and sprinkle on the pine nuts.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. When done, the custard is firm and golden brown.
  6. Allow the tart to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

This dish is wonderful served at any temperature. If it has cooled to room temperature before you serve it, no one will complain.

Related posts:

You might also enjoy:

  1. Polenta With Greens
  2. Winter Squash Rolls
  3. How To Make Flat Bread At Home
  4. Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad with Miner’s Lettuce Pasta
  5. Nutrient Decline in Spinach

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8 Responses to Spinach Tart
  1. Erika Sprinfield

    This is such a nice looking tart! Now I know what I’ll prepare this weekend and I take your word that this recipe doesn’t take as long time as it looks. Thank you for sharing another wonderful recipe, Jeanie!

  2. Connie

    Love this post, please link it up with me on Wow Us Wednesday at Family Home and Life.

  3. oh my hard work leads to a delicous dish for sure

    come see what I shared on my blog at http://shopannies.blogspot.com/2012/06/crab-hushpuppies.html

  4. I love that this has a yeasted crust! It looks so delicious, and sounds so good too. Definitely worth the extra effort for such a wonderful dish!

  5. This savory tart looks absolutely scrumptious! It would be a big hit at our house made with gf flour for breakfast or dinner. Thanks for sharing your great recipe on Allergy-Free Wednesdays!

  6. I love the idea of the yeast crust. Thanks for linking up at Healthy 2Day Wednesday and come back tomorrow to see if you were featured!

  7. I never imagined there would be someone who will make a cake with spinach as the ingredient. This is a great solution for those who do not like to eat vegetables.

    • Amanda Rose

      Hi Erwin. It’s not a sweet cake, but it’s pretty tasty. :)

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