This beautiful recipe is from my sister in law Daphne who is a fantastic cook and baker. She is always whipping something up in the kitchen, so it was only natural that I asked her for a couple of her fave dishes to share with you all! Spanakopita is a classic Greek spinach pie and every time Daphne makes it we all cannot get enough, so I thought this should be the first one I shared.
I was slightly nervous about trying this recipe as pastry is something that I am not comfortable using, even though I buy it in. However, there was no need to worry as the recipe is simple to follow and it turned out perfectly first time, in fact on taking it out the oven I was so chuffed, I literally felt like Mary Berry. This dish definitely looks impressive as well as tasting amazing.
Daphne (far right) with her mum and sister in Greece.
1 package of filo pastry (you might need more depending on your package; as a rule of thumb you need 16-18 sheets in total)
1kg spinach washed and drained of all the water
5 leeks cut in thin slices
10 spring onions also thinly sliced
1 onion cut in tiny cubes/chopped – or mashed in your blender whatever is easiest
A fistful of fresh dill chopped
A fistful of fresh parsley also chopped
A fistful of fresh spearmint also chopped
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
450g of feta cut in cubes
1/2 cup of EVOL
salt and pepper to taste
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
1. In a large saucepan, add some 1tbs of EVOL and let it heat up.
2. Add the onion and let it cook for a bit until translucent in a medium heat.
3. Add the leeks and spring onion and once that becomes a bit softer, add the spinach in batches. Once the spinach has cooked down, remove the pot from the heat. Check that the mixture is not too runny – if yes remove some of the water by draining it lightly.
4. Let the pan cool down and add the fresh herbs, feta and eggs. Add 2tbs of EVOL.
5. Check how thick the mixture is. It should be soft but not too runny. Add the breadcrumbs to soak up some of the juices and season to taste. Set aside.
6. Make sure you count how many filo sheets your package contains. You will use half for the bottom and half for the top.
7. Oil a baking pan or other oven proof dish. For best results check your dish’s size vs the filo sheets you have. You want your sheets to be able to cover the length and width of your dish to form a nice crust for your pie.
8. Layer half of the filo sheets on the pan making sure the edges of your dish are also covered. Each sheet should be brushed with remaining EVOL, this will make the filo crunchy rather than soggy.
9. Add the filling and repeat the process for the second half of the filo sheets. Roll in the edges of the filo to seal the pie.
10. With a brush add some EVOL or egg wash on top of the pie to make sure if comes out nicely golden and crunchy.
11. Score your pie to make sure the top of the filo is pierced – otherwise it will be difficult to cut pieces when it is ready.
12. Put in a preheated oven at 180 fan for 40-50mins until nicely golden on top.
Can be eaten warm or cold; you can make a lighter version without the leeks.
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