Damascus Bread & Pastry Shop's Whole-Wheat Spinach Pie
In their desire to appeal to the more health-conscious and/or guilt-ridden among us, numerous bakers compromise their products with whole-wheat flour, and the result is often reminiscent of chew toys and arbitrary childhood punishments. But this is happily far from the case at Damascus Bread & Pastry Shop, where the whole-wheat spinach pies ($2) provide a triumphant update on a very old Middle Eastern classic.
This is a pie that's beautiful inside and out: Its supple, deeply tanned crust envelopes a mass of shredded spinach that's been sautéed just long enough to attain a silky consistency without surrendering its vibrancy and bite. The spinach seems to have been cooked with only some diced onions and oil, and spiked with a bit of lemon juice.
The result is oddly invigorating. Maybe it's all the lutein, but more likely it's just the realization that in the right hands a whole-wheat crust can put its all-purpose counterparts to shame, and that spinach, when allowed to speak for itself, has some revelatory things to say.
Damascus Bread & Pastry Shop
195 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
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