Spinach Empanadas Gallega

I first learned of this entree from one of our favorite former staffers, Lori Sav, who studied in Spain for a semester. She came back and told me about empanadas gallega, something popular in the Galicia area of Spain. I fell instantly in love and hope to one day visit Galicia to see and taste these empanadas myself. Empanadas gallega are savory turnovers big enough for a family, and spinach is one of the many fillings you can use to create a lovely dinner pie. Serve this with Black Bean and Wheat Berry Salad for a lovely supper.

Ingredients

  • 1 double unbaked crust for 9-inch pie (homemade or store-bought)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet onions, finely chopped
  • 2 10-ounce bags spinach, washed and finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey lack cheese, divided

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place 1 piecrust in a 9-inch glass pie plate. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach (with the water clinging to the leaves). Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is tender. Remove from the heat. Taste for seasonings. Drain the spinach in a colander set into a bowl.
  3. Sprinkle half of the Monterey Jack cheese evenly over the piecrust. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked spinach and onions to the piecrust. Arrange the spinach evenly. Scatter the remaining Monterey Jack cheese evenly over the spinach. Place the top piecrust over the pie. Seal the edges all around by gently pressing the top and bottom crusts together using the tines of a fork. Cut four small slits into the top crust, using a sharp knife. Place the pie on a cookie sheet to catch any drippings. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the piecrust is light brown. Serve immediately or chilled.

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