Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Potatoes
Baked potatoes can be stuffed with a great variety of ingredient combinations, from bacon and cheddar cheese to barbecued chicken to chili. This recipe is a meatless version featuring fresh baby spinach and one of our favorite flavor combinations – goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts.
- 4 medium baking potatoes, scrubbed
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 5 ounces baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Make several small slits in the potatoes with the tip of a sharp knife to vent them.
- Bake the potatoes for 1 hour, or until they can be easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven, reduce the temperature to 350°F, and allow the potatoes to cool for a few minutes before handling.
- While the potatoes bake, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking 1 minute longer. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts, sauté 1 minute, then add the spinach, and continue cooking until wilted and nicely combined with the other ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Once the potatoes have cooled, cut a 1/4-inch thick slice from the top of each. Using a teaspoon, scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl, leaving about 1/4-inch of the potato "wall" in tact. Be careful not to break the skins.
- Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter along with the cream (if using) to the potatoes and mash with a fork. Fold in the goat cheese, reserving a little for garnish.
- Spoon equal portions of the potato-cheese mixture back into each potato, pressing it against the sides to make a cavity for the spinach down the center. Add a portion of spinach to each potato, and top with a little of the reserved goat cheese.
- Return the potatoes to the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese on top has softened.