Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Spanakopita

Okay, what I actually made this time was the "spanako", no "pita". The slightly modified filling alone makes a very nice casserole, and is a whole lot quicker to make and less oily. Of course, you lose the crisp and flaky texture of the filo but such is life.

Yes we still have tons of spinach even though it is going to seed. It was time to do something else besides just steaming it or eating it in salad.

8 servings
1 1/2 hours - 30 minutes prep time - not including cooling time



1 kg fresh spinach/chard/kale (2 bunches)
1 large leek
OR 1 bunch (10 to 12) green onions
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup fresh minced dillweed
OR 2 tbsps dried dillweed
2 tbsps minced fresh mint
OR 1 tbsp dried mint
200g (6 oz) feta cheese
4 eggs
nutmeg & pepper

8 -12 sheets filo pastry
1/4 cup olive oil (about)

Wash the spinach (or other greens) well, and pick through it, discarding any bad leaves or tough stems. Put it in a large pot with just the water that clings to the leaves from washing them, and cook until just limp. Rinse to cool, drain well, and chop. Put the prepared spinach into a mixing bowl.

Trim, chop and wash the leek (fall) or green onions (spring). Mince the herbs - and fresh are much better, if you can get them. Sauté the leeks or onions briefly until just soft in the oil, adding the herbs at the last minute. Add this mixture to the spinach.

Rinse your feta if it is salty, then chop or crumble it and add it to the spinach mixture. Beat in the eggs and season the blend with a little grated nutmeg and black pepper.

Lightly oil a 2 quart lasagne pan. Brush 4 sheets of filo with oil, folding them in half and stacking them as you go. Place them in the bottom of the lasagne pan. Spread over the filling and cover with the remaining filo, brushed with oil and folded over as for the bottom layer.

You can also form individual triangles or packages by spooning some of the spinach mixture onto one corner of an individual filo sheet brushed with oil, and folding or rolling it up.

Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes, or less for smaller packages. The spanakopita should be puffed and golden-brown.

Variation:
1 more egg
1 cup light cream
NO filo

To the above prepared spinach mixture, add an extra egg and a cup of light cream. Pour the mixture into an oiled lasagne pan, and bake at 350°F for about an hour, until firm and lightly browned at the edges. Let cool before serving; either slightly warm or chilled.

5 comments:

Latter-Day Flapper said...

My mother, who has blood sugar issues and avoids carbohydrates, makes quiche all the time, but without the crust (basically an omelet in a pie pan). I should suggest this to her.

Could the phyllo be used on the top, do you think, instead of for lining the dish? Would you get a little bit of flaky texture that way?

Ferdzy said...

Sure, you could put just a sheet or two on top for a bit of flakiness. It should be fine.

Joanne said...

I'm okay with spanako on it's own. All I really want is the feta and spinach anyway :P

This looks delicious!

Sarah said...

I can't eat any type of cheese, the recipe looks lovely... But do you think it would be fine without feta or do you have another suggestion?

Ferdzy said...

Well I think it would be a bit dull just with the feta left out. I would try replacing it with something else. Do you eat any of the soy "cheeses"? One of them might do. Or, if you eat it, even some chopped, lightly fried bacon perhaps. It would add that salty, savoury note that would otherwise be missing.