Pastry swirls with spinach are delicious and easy-to-handle appetizers at dinner parties or big events. These pinwheel-like treats typically feature a layer of cheese, herbs and spinach rolled between layers of flaky puff pastry. There is no right or wrong cheese to put in a pastry swirl, but some might go over better with your guests than others.
Mozzarella cheese comes from whole or skim milk and in smoked and unsmoked varieties. Use mozzarella in a pastry swirl with spinach if you’re using herbs and sauces with Italian flavors. For example, spices like oregano and basil mixed in with your spinach pair nicely with mozzarella. The fresher the mozzarella, the creamier it will be once it melts inside the pinwheel.
Smear ricotta with wilted spinach inside a pastry swirl. Ricotta resembles cottage cheese, but it's smoother and has a sweet aftertaste. Its creamy consistency works well with most spices. Include ricotta in combination with mozzarella or on its own.
Cream cheese is tangy, soft and made from a combination of cream and milk. With its higher fat content, cream cheese is easy to spread on pastry. While you can use cream cheese on its own, its tangy, sweet taste might overpower the herbs and spinach. Pair it with a cheddar variety before adding spices and spinach.
Feta is a Greek cheese that is salty and tangy. The texture of feta you find in most grocery stores is crumbly, but creamy and preseasoned varieties are available, too. Contrary to popular belief, feta does melted. In fact, feta is commonly used in a Greek dish known as Spanakopita, which is a savory dish that also features spinach, pastry and onions. Create a pastry swirl with Greek herbs and spices, feta and spinach to create your own twist on a Greek classic.
Of all cheeses, cheddar is likely to please the most guests. Pure cheddar cheeses are white or pale yellow; yellow cheddar gets its color from dye. Choose from mild, sharp, extra sharp, smoked or unsmoked. Any variety of cheddar works fine on its own in a pinwheel or paired with other cheeses, such as cream cheese, ricotta or marbled cheeses.
Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano is hard, salty and nutty in taste. Use freshly grated parmesan in pinwheels in combination with ricotta or mozzarella and your spinach filling. Because Parmesan has a high salt content, use additional salt sparingly.
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