Recipes, Salads and light meals

Fresh Spinach and Greek Feta Spanakopita

In celebration of Greece’s National day or Independence Day this 25th March how about treating your family to Spanakopita, a hearty and nutritious baked egg pie wrapped in crispy, light filo pastry. Looking for a wheat-free option?  Included below are tips for a pastry-free, lighter version.

Having Greek family connections, I know the immense pride Greeks have when it comes to their cuisine, in particular the menu variations region to region. Whilst I have an interest in Greek food, I do not profess any expertise in traditional or otherwise, only to share what my family know and love.

This recipe below is my standard version which includes pastry and is perfect for a celebration or those occasions when only comfort food will do. For a wheat-free, crustless version, simply leave out the filo (and butter) for a delicious, week night staple.

A note to any Greeks reading this, mine included! Whilst Bakaliaro (salted cod) would normally be eaten on the nations day, Spanakopita is my go-to which I serve with either Skordalia or garlic Tzatziki.

What’s your favourite Greek dish?

Ingredients

  • 1 x packet of filo (about 1/3 of the packet)
  • 4 tsp of butter, melted

Crustless:

  • 3 cups of fresh spinach leaves
  • 7-8 eggs
  • 1 x 250 gram tub ricotta
  • 1 x packet Greek Feta
  • ΒΌ cup of Pine Nuts
  • Sprinkle of dried oregano
  • Fresh Herbage (here are some I like), chopped parsley (big, generous cup), several leaves of chopped mint, stalk of chopped dill
  • Salt & Pepper (not too much salt as there is some in the feta
  • A generous sprinkle of Sesame seeds

Method

  1. If you are doing a traditional version and opting for filo, defrost filo on bench till cool and follow instructions for handling on the packet.
  2. Heat oven to 180 degrees
  3. Gently toast the pine nuts in a frypan til golden brown and transfer into a dish to cool.
  4. Place washed and roughly chopped spinach and herbs into a bowl, add in cubed fetta and ricotta.
  5. Add in the toasted and cooled pine nuts. Set aside.
  6. Next, melt the butter in a saucepan to use on the filo. Take off the heat and cool.
  7. Beat eggs into a separate bowl, and combine into the main green mix.
  8. Line a pie dish with grease proof paper and start to form pastry shell by layering on filo a sheet or two at a time.  Brush between layers with melted butter.  Use about 6-8 sheets for the base and the same for the top.
  9. When you have formed the base, add in the pie filling.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Repeat the process for the lid.  When complete, fold over each corner onto the lid – brushing liberally with butter
  12. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and place in oven.
  13. Bake for 30-40 mins and allow to keep cooking to crisp up all the pastry; otherwise the pastry will soften upon cooling.
Delicious served hot or cold.
Leftovers are perfect for freezing or weekly lunches.

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