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  • Wild Mushroom, Olive and Spinach Empanadas With Harissa Sauce

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  • 1 cup chopped wild mushrooms (may substitute cremini mushrooms)
    1/2 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
    2 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
    Garlic-infused avocado oil, as needed
    1 cup chopped, pitted Kalamata olives
    1 package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained very well
    1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
    2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
    1/2 cup good-quality olive oil
    1 large egg
    1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
    Egg wash, as needed
    Harissa Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)
    Cook the mushrooms, onion and garlic in the avocado oil until soft. Add the olives and spinach and heat through. Remove from heat and add the cheese. Chill until ready to use. (May be done a day ahead of time.)
    To prepare empanada dough, sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl and blend in the olive oil with fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.
    In a small bowl, beat the egg, vinegar and 1/3 cup ice water with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. (Mixture will look shaggy.)
    Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into a flat square and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour. (Dough also may be made in a food processor.)
    Preheat oven to 350 F. To assemble empanadas, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut into 6 to 8 evenly sized squares. (Or cut dough into more, smaller squares for appetizer-size empanadas.) Brush edges of 1 square with some of the egg wash. Place 1 generous tablespoon of filling in center of dough. Fold dough over to make a triangle and press with a fork along edges to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
    Bake empanadas on a silicone mat or parchment-lined baking sheet in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes. Watch closely, so they don't burn. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot with the Harissa Dipping Sauce.
    Makes 6 to 8 servings.
    HARISSA DIPPING SAUCE: In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons harissa paste (available at Jacksonville Mercantile, other specialty foods stores and online) with 1/2 cup creme fraiche, the zest of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice.
    — Recipe courtesy of Constance Jesser, co-owner of Jacksonville Mercantile.
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