This spinach pie, is a Greek classic: made from dark leafy greens and salty feta cheese, enclosed in several layers of perfectly crisp, flakey filo pastry. If you’ve never tried it before you’re in for a treat. Delicious hot or cold, perfect to serve vegetarians and suitable for lunch or a light dinner. I like to serve it with a tomato salad liberally doused in extra virgin olive oil and a light sprinkling of Maldon salt. It’s the perfect picnic dish too, I’ve made filo parcels with the same filling, cocktail size and bigger.
In truth my version is not strictly authentic as I generally use anything leafy and green available in my fridge, ie. kale, wild garlic (when in season) and Swiss chard however spinach is always the dominant vegetable. The addition of aleppo pepper is my twist, I’m addicted to that chilli kick.
Spanakopita - Greek Spinach & Feta Pie
- 550 g Spinach or a blend of kale or Swiss chard (but predominately spinach)
- Spring onions one bunch or 1 medium leek, finely chopped
- 1 medium Onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic crushed
- 200 g Feta
- 100 g Ricotta
- 3 eggs
- 3 tbsp Parmesan grated
- 3 tbsp Dill
- 25 g Butter, melted (or Olive oil) + extra for frying
- 1-2 pinch Nutmeg freshly grated
- Salt and pepper
- 6-8 sheets Filo pastry
- 1/4-1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper depending on your taste
- 1 tbsp Black and white sesame seeds to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180C. In a loose bottom cake tin line with parchment, Grease the sides.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, spring onions or leek and garlic. Cook for several minutes on a medium to low heat until soft. Wash the spinach, kale and chard if using and dry thoroughly. Shred the kale and chard. Now add these leaves to the pan, cook and stir over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until the leaves have wilted. Add half of the dill and stir. Pour the contents of the pan into a colander to drain and cool.
- Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk lightly. Now add the ricotta, nutmeg, salt and pepper and lightly whisk again. Squeeze out as much of the liquid from the spinach as possible then add the cooled spinach mixture to the eggs and stir with a large spoon. Crumble the feta and add with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan to the bowl and stir.
- Now for the filo pastry. Brush 4 sheets of filo to begin with with butter, or if you prefer olive oil. Drape and overlap the pastry in the loose bottom tin so that its completely sealed, add more pastry if needed. Pour the spinach mixture into the lined tin, smooth and level. Sprinkle with the remaining dill and Parmesan then fold the filo over and scrunch, I don’t seal the pie completely as you can see from the images, this enables any moisture to escape. Brush the top with more butter or oil and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
- Place in the oven and bake for 50-65 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the tin after approximately 10 minutes.