Greek Style Feta & Spinach Spanakopita Pie

This Greek inspired feta cheese and spinach pie recipe is inspired on the traditional Spanakopita dish, although apparently it is of Turkish origin and belongs to the burek family of dishes. Anyhow, this is a fantastic recipe to make for vegetarians and non vegetarians alike. The filo pastry is crunchy and the feta gives richness. I sometimes make this with sun dried tomatoes in oil and a foodie friend (Gastrorob) has recommended me to use the oil from the sun dried tomato jar, which I will do next time I make this. Serve with some tomato and cucumber salad or even some tzatziki for the full Greek experience! Since filo pastry does not contain any fat it is important to be generous with the oil when brushing. This will make it crispy when baked. You can also make a dairy free and vegan version of Spanakopita which is just as tasty.

Greek Style Feta & Spinach Spanakopita Pie
Yield: 6 Servings
Difficulty: Medium
Cooking time:
Metric
US/Cups

Ingredients

  • 400 g frozen spinach (thawed)
  • 400 g feta cheese
  • 40 g pine nuts
  • 250 g filo pastry
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil + 100ml for brushing
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 14 oz frozen spinach (thawed)
  • 14 oz feta cheese
  • 1½ oz pine nuts
  • 9 oz filo pastry
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil + ½ cup for brushing
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ tsp of salt

Instructions

  1. Warm up a pan and and once hot add the pine nuts. These need a couple of minutes at most to start releasing their flavour. When you can smell them it means that they are done, set to one side.
  2. Finely chop the onion and sweat in about 2 tbsp of olive oil until they are translucent and tender.
  3. Put the thawed spinach in a sieve or several layers of kitchen paper and squeeze tightly until all the water is released.
  4. Add this to a large bowl with the onion, crumble in the feta cheese and mix well.
  5. Add in the pine nuts, lemon zest and nutmeg and mix.
  6. Beat in 3 eggs into the mixture and stir the mixture to combine all the ingredients and set to one side.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180C and while that is heating up you can prepare the pastry casing. Filo pastry is very thin and dries up quickly so you need to cover with a tea cloth when you open the pack to stop it from drying out and cracking. I find it is best to use a 22cm spring-form cake tin, but you can use any similar measurement dish that has high sides so that you can fill the sheets of pastry without it collapsing.
  8. Brush the bottom and the sides of the tin with oil and add the first sheet so that it covers the bottom and all sides taking care that it doesn’t break, there will be some overhang from one of the sides. Brush the sides and bottom with oil and add the second sheet in the opposite direction, so there is an overhang on the other side. Add the third sheet at right angles and then the same for the forth sheet opposite, oiling well each sheet before the other one goes on.
  9. Once all the sheets are on the tin, proceed to add the filling which is simple enough. Then comes the covering of the filling. This is done by working the overhang of each sheet of pasty, just fold it in to cover the filling. As there was an overhang from each side, it will enable the pie to be covered completely. Oil the top of each sheet as before, and the the top of the final sheet.
  10. Bake in the oven for between 40-45 minutes. When done allow to cool on a wire rack until ready to eat, although I find it is best served slightly warm or at room temperature.

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Maria

Just wondering if this is a good dish to make in advance… Not to freeze necessarily but the day before for instance?