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Mini Spinach, Pine Nut and Raisin Parcels

Mini Spinach, Pine Nut and Raisin Parcels

Preparation Time:  40 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Makes: approx 20


For the pastry -

250g plain flour

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

100ml cold water

Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For the filling -

100g raisins

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

60g pine nuts, toasted

500g spinach, washed, dried and large stems removed

1 tbsp mint, finely chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice

For the filling - put the raisins in a bowl and cover with boiling water and leave to stand for 30 minutes.  Heat the olive oil and cook the onion until soft and translucent but not coloured.  Add the spinach, mint and lemon juice, season with the salt and pepper and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes or until the spinach is just wilted.  Transfer to a colander and squeeze out as much excess water as possible and then chop into small chunks. 

Drain the raisins.  Mix together the spinach mix, raisins and pine nuts and leave to cool completely preferably in a colander or sieve so the mix is completely dry, while making the pastry.

For the pastry - put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the oil and lemon juice and mix well. Add the water, a little at a time, mix and knead as you pour, until you have smooth dough.  You may not need all the water. Knead the pastry into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Once chilled, roll the pastry as thin as you can on a lightly floured board.  The dough will seem tough, but that is fine.   Cut out round shapes with a 8.5cm-round pastry cutter and spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture on to each circle, off-centre. Lightly wet the edges with cold water and fold the circles over to make half-moon shapes, pressing the edges together either with your thumb or a fork for a good seal.

Heat the vegetable oil in a deep pan or wok until a cube of bread dropped into the hot oil sizzles and turns golden within a few seconds.   Fry the empanadilla 2-3 at a time until golden brown on both sides – they will only take a few minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen roll until crispy and dry. Repeat until all are cooked.

Enjoy with Rioja Joven