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.
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
125g strong fetta
200g ricotta (reduce to 125g if you like a strong fetta taste)
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.
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9/07/2006 11:58:00 pm