Friday, 14 August 2009

Spanakopita - A foray into Greek cuisine

Although I really enjoy Greek food I very rarely cook it. Greek food is simple and healthy using fresh vegetables and herbs, fish and meat, it shares many of the characteristics of my favourite cuisine of all -Italian- most notably it's wide use of olives and olive oil.

Clearly something had to be done about my lack of Greek cooking experience, and what better place to start than with one of Greece's most famous dishes, Spanakopita.Spanakopita is a spinach and feta pie made using filo pastry. Filo, meaning leaf or sheet is a type of pastry that unlike other pastries comes in wafer thin sheets which are layered up before being filled and baked. The resulting pastry is very light and wonderfully crispy and crunchy.

Normally I would make my own pastry but when it comes to filo there's no shame in buying it ready made. For the filling I used spinach, feta, spring onions, dill, eggs and a little nutmeg, it's probably not very authentic but hey, it if tastes good...

Ingredients:
A packet of filo pastry
olive oil
A couple of handfuls of spinach blanched, chopped and excess water squeezed out.
A small bunch of dill chopped
2 eggs
2oog feta crumbled
5-6 large spring onions/scallions, chopped
A grating of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Tip: Once you have opened the packet of filo you should keep it covered with a damp tea towel to stop it drying out - it dries out really fast!
  • For the filling mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, season and set aside.
  • Take a baking dish and lightly brush with olive oil, lay a sheet of filo on top and brush with oil. lay another sheet over the first and continue to layer up. Filo sheet, oil, filo sheet, oil until half the pastry is gone.
  • Fill the lined dish with the spinach mixture and top with the remaining pastry brushing each sheet with a little oil as you go.
  • Bake at a medium heat about 180c until golden and crispy.
  • Serve with buttered new potatoes and steamed vegetables.

16 comments:

Amanda @ Mrs.W's Kitchen said...

Sounds good to me! Looks great, too.

Foodycat said...

It's one of my all-time favourites and I haven't made it in so long! That looks lovely Sam.

Nora said...

Mmmmm, that looks so delicious. It's one of my favourites, too. Thanks for the reminder - I might just have to make myself some pretty soon. :D

Beth said...

I love feta and spinach combo. I wonder if I could use the frozen spinach that has been in my freezer for AGES! need to use it up

Kevin said...

Great looking spinach pies! The phyllo is perfectly golden brown and flaky!

Joy said...

As soon as I saw your picture my mouth began watering. It is an iconic recipe! Spanakopita is now on the menu for this week! maybe tomorrow!

Pam said...

I love spanakopita but have never tried making it myself...it looks wonderful.

The Caked Crusader said...

Looks delish - one of my favourite dishes yet I've never tried to make it. Your has shown me that I should!

Anne said...

They look gorgeous Sam, I have fond memories of eating Spanakopita almost every day on our last Greek holiday!

Will have to try these soon as that filling looks very generous :)

Katie said...

Yum I love Spanakopita and yours looks particuarly tasty. You've got such a lovely lot of filling.

pigpigscorner said...

It looks so pretty with the flaky pastry!

Kadeeae said...

Looks great, Sam!

I've never eaten much Greek food, and haven't cooked any either, this may just be the one that tempts me tho!

Ben said...

This is one of my all-time favorite Greek dishes. Your spanakopita is gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Just come across this mmm looks so good!

I went to a really cool place last night called The Kitchen in Parsons Green, South London where you can go and prepare food to take home - have you heard about it? If not - definitely check it out! (www.visitthekitchen.com)

Karine said...

I love this dish! It has always so many different flavors together :)

petite nyonya said...

Wow, this looks AMAZING. I am bookmarking this into my list of things to try.