Depending on what else you are serving, you can scatter this tart with crumbled feta or goats' cheese as well before you bake it (in which case, drizzle the cheese with a little extra olive oil to help it brown in the oven).
- 700g spinach leaves
- 50ml extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons
- 1kg onions, very finely sliced
- 4 sprigs lemon thyme, leaves only
- Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon cider vinegar, extra to taste
- ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar (regular or white), extra to taste
- Plain flour, for flouring work surface
- 500g ready-made puff pastry
- 30 black olives
- Wash the spinach leaves and then place in a large pan, cover and cook over a medium-low heat in just enough water so it clings to them. It will look like a lot of spinach but it really cooks down. Keep turning the leaves over so that they all get a chance to be in with the bottom of the pan. It will take about 7 minutes to cook this quantity of spinach. Tip into a colander and leave to drain and cool.
- Put 50ml olive oil into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the onions and cook over a medium heat for about 7 minutes until they are losing their rawness and beginning to turn pale gold. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper and a splash of water, cover the pan, turn the heat down low and sweat the onions for about 1 hour. During this time, they will become really soft. Keep checking to make sure they are moist enough - add a splash of water every so often if necessary.
- Add the lemon thyme leaves, lemon zest and garlic and cook for another 15 minutes. Add the sugar and vinegars, turn up the heat and cook the onions - with the lid off - until they are deep gold and all the excess liquid has boiled off. The mixture should be sweet-savoury, so adjust by adding a little more vinegar if it's too sweet. Adjust the seasoning if you need to as well.
- Heat the oven to 190°C/fan oven 170°C/mark 5. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the pastry to almost cover a rectangular baking sheet (measuring 40 x 30cm). It doesn't need to be a perfect shape - a little rough at the edges looks better. Bake for 25 minutes. The pastry will puff up in the middle but don't worry. Take it out of the oven and bash the puffy middle down with the back of a wooden spoon.
- While the pastry is cooking, squeeze the water out of the spinach, either using your hands or by pressing fistfuls of the spinach between two dinner plates. Chop the spinach roughly and sauté it in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until it is warmed through and covered in oil, seasoning well.
- Spread the onions on the pastry, leaving a 4cm rim around the edge, then put the spinach on top, flattening it out. Season and put back in the oven. Cook for another 15 minutes, scattering the olives on top about 7 minutes before the end of cooking time. You can serve this hot or leave it to cool for 10 minutes or so.
To drink: Although spinach and olives can be
tricky to pair with wine, the oniony sweetness and pastry combine
to make this tart surprisingly accommodating. Sauvignon Blanc, a
fruity but dry rosé, or a red Pinot Noir are all possible: Edoardo
Miroglio Soli Pinot Noir 2011, from Bulgaria, £8.95, The Wine
Society (01438-741177). Wine details correct at original magazine
From the June 2015 issue of House & Garden. Recipe by Diana Henry; photograph by Tara Fisher; food preparation and styling by Jack Sargeson; table styling by Alexander Breeze; wine recommendations by Joanna Simon.