I need to make something simple for lunch today, so it’s time for that old favourite, spinach feta pie. I will avoid referring to this as spanakopita as I am sure I have strayed far enough from the original so as to no longer merit that name! This version is loosely based on the recipe from Ottolenghi’s The New Vegetarian column, but adapted to take account of what I had in the cupboards and fridge and the fact that it’s a bit chilly and I don’t really fancy leaving the house in this weather, especially as the election results continue to roll in.
What makes this a great pie, in my view, is the lemon zest (which lifts it slightly), the cheddar in addition to the feta (for an even stronger cheesy taste) and using a few spices. Super easy, and really, really tasty.
For the spinach feta pie:
• 700g frozen chopped spinach, thawed
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 2 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
• 120g feta, crumbled
• 70g cheddar cheese
• 1 egg, beaten
• 50g butter, melted
• 12 sheets of filo pastry
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cook the thawed spinach for a few minutes in a little water. Allow to cool, and then squeeze out most of the water.
Fry the onion in the oil until translucent. Add the garlic and cook gently for a few minutes. Add the spices, salt, pepper and the tomatoes, and cook on a moderate heat until any liquid has evaporated and it becomes a thick “sauce”. Put aside to cool.
Combine the cooled spinach, cooled tomato mixture, egg and lemon zest. Add the feta and cheddar and mix well.
Cover the bottom of a rectangular pie dish with six layers of filo pastry, brushing melted butter between each sheet. Let the pastry hang over the edges at this stage. Put the filling into the dish, and cover with another six layers of filo pastry, again brushing butter between each sheet. Brush the top with butter, and trim off any excess pastry.
Bake for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Worth making? This recipe is very easy and absolutely delicious. It’s great either still warm or once it is cold, so perfect for a day in the park or for a picnic.