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Deliciously Organic: Spinach Pockets with Marinara

Deliciously Organic

A blog devoted entirely to simple, wholesome, organic cooking.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Spinach Pockets with Marinara




I love this time of year. Not necessarily because it's fall because of all the wonderful things to anticipate in the next few months. By now the kids are settled into their routines in school, the days are getting cooler and (one of my secret favorites) all of the holiday catalogs are starting to pile up in the mailbox. I especially love Tuesdays because for some reason this is "catalog" day and I can thumb through them and get ideas from all of the wonderful things the different companies have to offer. (my husband prefers the mail on Thursdays...Sports Illustrated)  My kids just bought their Halloween costumes; one will be a cat and the other a banana (certified organic, of course). I am anticipating the amazing annual halloween party our friends throw, the fires my husband builds in the back yard and having friends over for smores, smoking our annual turkey at Thanksgiving (it's a 12 hour event), the warming soups and hearty stews, greeting the kids on a rainy day with hot cocoa, getting to see family at Christmas, and all of the other little moments mixed in.


More than anything, I love having friends over for a hearty meal and sending them away with full bellies and hopefully warmed hearts. I love the laughter around the table especially when my husband gets into one of his "modes" and keeps me laughing until tears are streaming down my cheeks and I am begging him to stop. My friends usually laugh and jab me a bit when they come over and I tell them how "easy" the meal was to prepare. They usually say, "Right, Carrie. How can 15 steps and hours of labor be easy?" I totally see their point, I guess it's because the kitchen is my favorite spot in the house and being there in my apron, no matter how many hours I spend making a meal for someone is completely satisfying to me. I am trying to simplify a bit and make things that are truly "easy" to make. I came up with these rustic spinach pockets the other day and even though they take a little bit of work to make, they can be made in big batches, frozen, and then baked straight from the freezer. On a busy day, or on a day you are having friends over, pop these in the oven, make a big salad and a quick marinara sauce, pour some wine and you've got yourself one "easy" meal.


Spinach Pockets with Marinara
Please note that the dough needs to be mixed the night before and don't worry about making your dough look perfect;  the uneveness and rustic quality of the dough lets everyone know that it's homemade.  Make sure you use hard wheat flour, not soft or pastry, otherwise the dough will be too soft to work with.  The dough ingredients are from Sally Fallon's book, Nourishing Traditions. yeilds 8-10

Yogurt dough:

1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 pound butter, softened
3 1/2 cups freshly milled, hard wheat flour
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

Filling:
1 pound spinach
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper chopped
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
olive oil, to brush on top
sea salt

Marinara:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
Italian seasoning
sea salt
honey

In a large mixing bowl, cream yogurt and butter.  In a medium bowl, whisk together salt and flour.  Turn mixer on the lowest speed and slowly add flour/salt combination until just incorporated.  Turn mixer off and mix the last bits of flour in with a wooden spoon, or if you prefer, with your hands.  Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook spinach for about 2-3 minutes or until wilted.  Pour spinach into a colander and squeeze excess juice out.  In a large bowl combine spinach, parmesan cheese, garlic, bell pepper, eggs, salt, and mozzarella.  Clear a large area on the counter and sprinkle flour on top.  Take about a 1/4 cup of dough (I just approximate and pull off a large chunk) and roll out to about a 9-inch round.  Place a scant 3 tablespoons of filling on one half of the dough round and fold dough in half.  Beginning on one side of the dough, place your index finger down on the dough and gently wrap bottom layer of dough over the top of your finger.  Press down to seal dough.  Continue this around the entire edge of the dough until entirely sealed.  Place pocket on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Repeat until all pockets are formed.  Brush each pocket with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

While pockets are baking pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into medium sauce pan.  Add garlic and cook over medium heat until sizzling (do not let brown).  Add 28 ounces of diced tomatoes, a few shakes of Italian seasoning, a teaspoon of sea salt and a small squirt of honey.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes until thick. Serve in small bowls alongside pockets.

To freeze, cover and place in freezer before baking. To bake add about 10 minutes on to the baking time.

2 Comments:

Blogger Divina Pe said...

These spinach pockets look really good with a healthy marinara sauce. And of course, you can't go wrong with your freshly-milled flour which makes a lot of difference. Thanks for the recipe.

October 21, 2009 at 6:16 AM  
Blogger Colt Justice said...

Absolutely phenomenal! Thanks for posting this!

November 11, 2009 at 10:03 PM  

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