SPINACH PIE SPANAKOPITA
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Oven temperature: 190°C (375°F)
1 kg (2 lb) spinach – 3 pkts of frozen chopped spinach is good
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped spring onions
125 g (4 oz) feta cheese, crumbled – any goodish feta will do
1 cup cottage cheese
3 tablespoons grated kefalotiri or parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill or fennel (optional) – it does give a good flavour if you use dill
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper
250 g (8 oz) filo pastry
olive oil for assembling pie
Ignore Steps 1- 4 as they are not needed if you use frozen spinach
1 Wash (defrost) spinach well, cut off stems and shake excess water from leaves.
2 Shred coarsely and place in a vegetable steamer or colander over boiling water.-
3 Cover and steam for 8 minutes to wilt spinach.
4 Drain off all moisture and place in a bowl to cool.
5 Gently fry spring onions in oil until soft and add oil and onions to spinach.
6 Stir in cheeses, herbs, eggs, nutmeg and season to taste.
7 Lightly oil an oven dish, 35 x 25 cm (14 x 10 inches).
8 Line dish with 5 sheets of fib o pastry, brushing each sheet with oil.
9 Add spinach filling and spread evenly.
10 Moisten edges of top layer of fib o with water and place remainder of fib o on top, brushing each sheet with oil.
11 Trim fib, leaving enough to tuck into, sides of pie.
12 Brush top with oil and bake in a moderately hot oven for 45 minutes.
13 Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into squares to serve as a first course. If served as a party snack, score top three layers of fib o with a razor blade into small squares or diamonds before cooking.
Sprinkle top lightly with water after oiling to prevent pastry curling.
Note: Flaky or short crust pastry can replace filo — quantity will need to be increased to fit dish used. Silver beet may be used instead of spinach — remove stems and thick white centre section of leaves before weighing. 500-750 g (1-11/2 lb) trimmed leaves are sufficient for recipe.