Middle Eastern Spinach Turnovers

Middle Eastern Spinach Turnovers

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3/4 cup water, at room temperature
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
additional flour as needed

1 large bunch spinach, washed and chopped
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
1 large or 2 small onions, finely diced
1 tsp sumac (optional)
1/2 tsp zataar (optional)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 Tbsp lemon juice


Pour the water in a large bowl (or mixer bowl, if you have a mixer with a dough hook. Sprinkle in the yeast, and allow it to soften for a few minutes. Add the salt, sugar, egg, olive oil, and whole wheat flour. Mix well. Add the remaining white flour until a slack-yet-workable dough is formed (this may take more or less flour). Cover the bowl, and set aside for ~1 hour.

While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Sprinkle the salt over the spinach, and set aside to allow it to begin to give off water.

In a heavy pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over a medium flame. Add the onions, and saute until soft and translucent, but not colored, ~7 minutes. Turn off the heat, and add the sumac and zataar if using. Set aside.

Take the salted spinach, and squeeze it to release as much liquid as you can. It will reduce slightly, and become a bit translucent, like a day-old salad. Place the squeezed leaves in a bowl, and toss with the onions. Sprinkle on the lemon juice, tossing, and add just enough additional olive oil until it is just moistened (better to err on the side of dry, otherwise your turnovers won't hold together). Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and grease two baking sheets (or preheat pizza stones).

Turn your risen dough out onto a lightly floured countertop. Roll out to a thickness between 1/8" and 1/4". If the dough doesn't roll, let it rest a few minutes to relax the gluten, and try again. Cut out 3" circles. Place heaping tablespoons of dough in the center of the circles, and pull the sides up to form a triangular shape. Squeeze tightly to seal the edges! Place your triangles on the prepared sheets, brush with the additional olive oil, and bake until golden, ~20 minutes. Serve warm or cold, at the picnic of your choosing.