I love Greek food. Maybe it’s just because I have a not-so-secret love affair with feta and spinach combos!
The weekend called for spanakopita (a Greek dish which literally translates to ‘spinach pie’). Kiallas, my local café in Newtown, sell out of these puppies as quickly as they can make them. They are the most popular items on the menu – they really are that good and have the richest, creamiest, feta EVER… utter heaven. Sunday was one of those days (sadly!), but I’d been dying to try spanakopita at home and what a perfect excuse!
This recipe was recommended by a friend and comes from Jamie Oliver. The filling is extra creamy and luscious but best of all, the process for making spanakopita is really simple and only takes 20 minutes in the oven making it a healthy (ish!), vegetarian meal perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Yes, this recipe is incredibly delicious. I cannot wait to visit Greece one day and have a spanakopita, or the lesser known, but perhaps more traditional Tiropita (no spinach). Enjoy this one!
Spanakopita (Greek Spinach and Cheese Pie)
- 100 grams of pinenuts
- 5 eggs
- 300 grams of feta cheese
- 50 grams Cheddar cheese
- Dried oregano
- 1 lemon
- A knob of butter
- 400 grams of prewashed baby spinach
- 1 x 270 gram pack of filo pastry
- Cayenne pepper
- 1 whole nutmeg
Turn on the oven to 200 degrees. Put a medium frying pan on a medium heat. Put the pinenuts into the dry ovenproof frying pan to toast, tossing occasionally. Keep an eye on them as they tend to burn veeery easily!
Crack 5 eggs into a mixing bowl and crumble in 300 grams of feta. Grate in the cheese. Add a pinch of pepper, a couple of pinches of dried oregano, zest of 1 lemon and a glug of olive oil. Once the nuts are light golden, add them to the egg mixture and mix well.
Put the empty frying pan back on the heat, add a little olive oil and a knob of butter and pile in half of the spinach. Gently push and move it around and add more as it wilts down. Make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom and, when there’s room, start adding the rest, stirring frequently.
Lay a large sheet of greaseproof paper, approx 50cm long, on the worktop, rub a little olive oil all over it, then scrunch it up and lay it out flat again. Arrange 4 filo pastry sheets in a large rectangle, overlapping at the edges, so they almost cover the paper. Rub some olive oil over them. Sprinkle over a good pinch of salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Repeat until you have 3 layers. Don’t worry about any cracked bits.
Once the spinach is really nice and dense, take the pan off the heat. Add the wilted spinach to the egg mixture and grate in ½ a nutmeg. Mix well. Carefully move the greaseproof paper and filo into a glass oven proof dish so the edges spill over. Push it down into the sides, then pour in the egg mixture and spread it out. Fold the filo sheets over the top.
Place the spanakopita into the hot oven for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Eat while hot with a delicious green salad! Bon appetit!