Mina de Espinaca - Matzah and spinach pie

You’ll want this beauty in your Pesach menu plan – perfect for a light lunch


Naama Shefi – founder of the Jewish Food Society, who collated the recipes in The Jewish Holiday Table writes:

A staple of Sephardi Passover tables, mina de matza is a type of savoury pie stacked with sheets of matzah and fillings like seasoned meat, eggplant, or spinach and cheese. With layers of mashed potatoes and spinach both laced with Parmesan, this one from Alexandra’s family makes a wonderful main for a vegetarian Seder or Passover lunch. (If you cannot find kosher for Pesach Parmesan use strong cheddar.)

Serves: 6 - 8

Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes

2 russet or 3 Yukon Gold potatoes (675 g) scrubbed, halved if large
Kosher salt
170g grated Parmesan cheese
225g cream cheese, at room temperature
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
450g baby spinach, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 or 5 sheets matzah (17.5 cm squares)


  • Make the potatoes: Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water, add 1 tbsp salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium-low and cook until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and let cool until cool enough to handle but still warm.
  • Peel the potatoes and put them in a large bowl. Mash with a potato ricer or fork until smooth. Add 1½ teaspoons salt, 85g of the Parmesan, the cream cheese, and the eggs and mix well until the mixture is smooth and uniform. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, if you like. Set aside.
  • Make the spinach mixture: Put the chopped spinach in a medium bowl with 55g of the Parmesan and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix until evenly distributed. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 175°C. Grease a 25cm springform pan with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil.
  • Fill a container large enough to hold a matzah sheet with about 2.5cm of water and stir in ¼ teaspoon salt. Line a plate or tray with paper towels.
  • Soak the matzahs one at a time in the water until the sheets are flexible yet firm enough to hold their shape — anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute or two. Gently place each soaked matzah on the paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
  • To assemble the mina: Line the bottom of the springform pan with a matzah, then fill in the gaps around the edges with pieces of matzah that you tear to fit. Spread half of the spinach-Parmesan mixture over the matzah in an even layer. Add another layer of moistened matzah on top, gently pressing the matzah into the spinach layer to make space for the remaining layers.
  • Spread the rest of the spinach mixture over the matzah layer. Place another layer of matzah over the spinach, gently pressing the matzah into the spinach to make room for the remaining layer.
  • Spread the potato mixture evenly over the matzah layer. Use the back of a spoon or an offset spatula to make swirls in the surface of the potatoes so they brown attractively in the oven. Sprinkle the remaining 25g Parmesan on top of the potatoes and drizzle the remaining olive oil on top.
  • Bake the mina until deep golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the mina to cool for about 5 minutes, then run the tip of a sharp knife around the edges of the mina to release it from the pan.
  • Remove the sides of the springform, transfer the mina to a serving platter, and cut into wedges. Serve hot.

Adapted from The Jewish Holiday Table by Naama Shefi and the Jewish Food Society (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2024.

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