The following recipe is for a great pie with Greek Origins called Spanakopita. It is made of layered sheets of filo pastry (with plenty of melted butter or ghee) with a filling in the centre made of spinach and feta cheese. You can change the filling as you like, for example using mince meat, or other vegetables.
The sheets of filo pastry are drenched with a mixture of eggs and milk which soak up into the pastry giving it a soft dough texture which is very easy to bite through and melts in the mouth. This pie is dangerous in that you can eat quite a number of pieces without realising how much you just ate.
The recipe included is for our favourite Spanikopita filling. Spinach and cheese just go so well together and a few fresh chilli peices (or flakes) just bring out the flavours. This dish does not take that long to prepare (around 20 minutes) and is perfect for parties or as a starter.
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- Filo pastry (14-20 sheets)
- 100g Melted Ghee or Butter
- 300g Feta Cheese
- 250-300g Spinach
- 300ml Milk
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Cloves garlic
- 1 green chilli (optional)
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- ½ tsp Mixed herbs
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius and grease a baking tray.
- To make the filling, start by wilting the spinach in a large pan with a drizzle of olive oil, the garlic, green chilli(optional) and season with salt and pepper.
- Once the spinach has wilted down, remove from the heat (allow to cool), add the grated feta cheese, mixed herbs and mix. Add more or less cheese according to your preference.
- Divide in half the number of filo pastry sheets you have and cover with a damp tea towel, so as not to dry.
- Layer the first half of filo sheets in the the greased baking tray, making sure to butter between each sheet.
- Add the mixture in the centre and spread evenly in the middle of the tray.
- Cover with the second layer of filo sheets, again buttering between each sheet.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the filo pastry into your desired portions.
- Mix the eggs and milk together and season. Then pour over the filo pastry making to sure to thoroughly cover the whole tray, let stand for a few minutes so as the egg mixture soaks through all the filo layers.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top and bottom.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving, also delicious cold.