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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Spanakopita

I love spanakopita. Spinach and fetta go together brilliantly and the flaky wispy sheets of browned filo pastry contrast delightfully with the spinach mixture underneath.

The invention of olive oil cooking spray means an end to filo phobias and messy fiddling with pastry brushes and melted butter splotches. Working with filo has never been easier.

And if I'm going to make spanakopita, I always make a double batch. I think it tastes even better cold the next day, and it makes a easy lunch with just a handful of rocket leaves on the side.

Extra spinach mixture can be used up in cheese and spinach triangles, and of these too, I make extras and pop some in the freezer for a future entree or midnight snack.

spanakopita

Spanakopita
Cheese and spinach pie

1 large onion, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bunch English spinach*, chopped and dried well
2 Tbsp chopped mint
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
nutmeg
3 eggs
125g strong fetta
200g ricotta (reduce to 125g if you like a strong fetta taste)
pepper
olive oil cooking spray (or melted butter)
10 sheets filo pastry

Preheat oven to 180C.

Saute onion in oil until translucent. Add garlic, spinach, mint, parsley and nutmeg and stir gently until spinach is cooked. Transfer mix to a colander and allow to drain and cool.

Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl and add fetta and ricotta. Add the spinach mixture and combine well. Season with pepper.

Lightly spray your baking dish with vegetable oil, then line the bottom with five sheets of filo, spraying lightly with oil between each layer. Align excess filo so it sits up neatly along the wall of the baking dish. Remember to wrap your unused sheets of filo with a tea towel to prevent them drying out.

Spoon in spinach mixture. Top with final five layers of filo, again spraying lightly with oil between each layer.

Bake at 180C for about 40 minutes, or until the top turns a golden brown.

*You can substitute English spinach with frozen spinach (use about 900g) or even silverbeet (be sure to dice the stems into small pieces).

Cheese and spinach triangles
Use up any leftover spinach mixture by making cheese and spinach triangles. Cut extra filo sheets into three long strips. Place a spoonful of mixture at the bottom and fold sheet at a diagonal to create a triangle. Flip package upwards at a diagonal and continue until you reach the end. Seal with cooking spray or melted butter and bake on a tray at 180C for about 20 minutes.

cheese and spinach triangles

8 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 9/07/2006 11:58:00 pm


8 Comments:

  • At 9/08/2006 7:40 am, Blogger Gustad said…

    those triangles looks yummy. send me some

     
  • At 9/08/2006 9:40 am, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    Yummo! It was the dread of melting butter to moisten each sheet that turned me to puff pastry. Can't go back to Phyllo now.

    I also prefer to use sliverbeet. I love the soft leaves with the firm stems.

     
  • At 9/08/2006 12:17 pm, Blogger Cass said…

    Oh god. I LOVE spanakopita, and here in Japan it cannot be had for love nor money. *Maybe* a trip into Tokyo can net me the (expensive) ingredients though. Hmm. You have given me a serious craving! When I'm back in Aus for Christmas, this is the first thing I'm eating.

    (Adore your blog btw! Especially the ethnic shopping tours.)

     
  • At 9/08/2006 12:49 pm, Blogger Julia said…

    I love spanakopita too. I remember arriving in Athens one early morning after being in transit for what seemed to be forever, and going to the small bakery around the corner from the hostel and getting a slice after my friend said it was his favourite thing. And it was so good...

     
  • At 9/08/2006 10:12 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Gustad - Whoops. Too late. lol.

    Hi Veruca Salt - Yeah those days were painful.

    I do use silverbeet sometimes. The stems give a nice texture to it.

    Hi Cass - I have never craved fruit and veg as much as I did when I was in Japan (and only for 3 weeks! lol) so you have my complete empathy.

    Glad you're liking the blog. Shopping tours are fun. It's always amazing what you discover if you take the time to browse properly.

    Hi Julia - Mmm... authentic Greek spanakopital. Yum!

     
  • At 9/09/2006 8:38 am, Anonymous Miss K said…

    Your triangles look great.
    I always have friends ask me to bring some along when we meet up at their place.

     
  • At 9/10/2006 11:20 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi MissK - Thanks. Triangles are great aren't they? They make such easy and tasty party fare.

     
  • At 5/27/2007 5:13 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    love your recipe! Can you freeze before you bake, or do you bake first??? KDS

     

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