I’m a Christmas Tree…
So my dad and I are extremely weird people, but often that weirdness just makes life better. Take today for example – I was stopping by the grocery store and talking to my dad on the phone about what I should buy and cook. I wanted to make a non-dessert Christmas recipe. My dad, completely joking, said I should make a Christmas tree out of spinach. Naturally, I stopped (literally just stood there) and started thinking about the logistics of that idea. Then I had it! What if I cut pastry dough or puff pastry into the shape of a Christmas tree and put spinach on it? I told my dad and he said he was thinking the same thing (while I was pondering the logistics of a spinach tree so was he). Thus out of an odd-ball comment, a great idea was born!
So how does one make a spinach Christmas tree? Well, for the base, you make pie crust dough. 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup salted butter, some cold water (just enough to bring the dough together). I’ve written on making pie crust dough about a dozen times so yeah, just be cautious and slow and it’ll be fine. Roll out half the dough into a largish rectangle, and cut it roughly into Christmas tree shaped. Place on a baking tray.
Now that you have the base, you need toppings. First, of course, is a layer of spinach all over the tree branches. Then kalamata olives for the tree trunk (and sprinkled elsewhere). Add some chopped garlic and crumbled feta cheese (for snow!) I suppose goat cheese would work too, but I had feta so I went with that. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is turning brown.
The result was amazing. So yummy, especially with the pie crust base. Also the branches break off really easy into pieces to eat. You could almost make it as a finger food at a holiday party. Of course, you should serve this with red wine, so you get the red and green color combination going. Weird ideas triumph again! This is why cooking, at the end of the day, is all about experimentation. Also, for other Christmas tree related weirdness, there is this. And, if you are frustrated by the capitalist consumerism of Christmas, there is this song. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas because you aren’t Christian, no worries. The vast majority of Christmas stuff, including the Christmas tree, is totally ripped off of European pagans so it hardly counts as religious.