Monday, 18 December 2017

Brussels Sprouts "Spanako"pita

I am referring to this as a spanakopita, which means "spinach bread" in Greek. Since it is made with Brussels sprouts instead of spinach I don't even want to tell you what it should actually be called, mostly because I can't. Fortunately the culinary substitution is much easier than the translation.

This is my usual spanakopita recipe, only I've removed a kilo (yes, really!) of spinach and replaced it with about half as much Brussels sprouts. They don't shrink down like spinach does though.

Unless you make this about a month ago - good luck with that - the odds of fresh herbs being around at the same time as Brussels sprouts are not particularly good. Dried ones do well enough, but if you do have some fresh ones, 2 tablespoons of each, well minced, will be about right.

8 servings
1 hour 30 minutes - 30 minutes prep time

Brussels Sprouts Spanokopita

500 grams (1 pound) Brussels sprouts
1 large leek
2 tablespoons olive oil
250 grams (1/2 pound) feta cheese
1 to 2 teaspoon dry dill
1 to 2 teaspoon dry mint
250 grams (1/2 pound) feta cheese
a few good grates of nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 large eggs

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

Don't forget that frozen filo pastry will need to thaw for 2 or 3 hours on the counter, or overnight in the fridge.

Wash, trim and chop the Brussels sprouts fairly well. Wash, trim, and chop (slice) the leek reasonably finely also.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the Brussels sprouts. Cook gently for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until wilted and softened. You may wish to add a tablespoon or so of water to help them along. They should be dry though, by the time you are ready to transfer them to a mixing bowl.

Heat a little more oil in the same skillet and add the leek. Again, cook until softened and wilted down, for 5 or 10 minutes, with a little water if necessary. Add them to the bowl with the Brussels sprouts.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Crumble the feta cheese into the vegetables. Add the seasonings and mix well. When the vegetables are cool enough that they will not cook the eggs, break the eggs in and mix very well.

Have your filo unwrapped and standing by. Have the oil in a small bowl. Brush a 9" x 13" lasagne pan lightly with oil, then fold a sheet of filo in half and line the bottom of the pan. Brush it with oil, using a pastry brush. Add 3 or 4 more sheets in the same way, folding and brushing with oil.

Spread the vegetable mixture over the prepared filo pastry. Fold and layer another sheet of filo on top, and brush it with oil. Continue folding, covering and brushing with oil for another 3 or 4 more sheets. Finish the top with a good brush of oil.

Bake the finished dish for 50 to 60 minutes, until nicely browned. Let set for 20 or 30 minutes before serving.

Last year at this time I made Vegetarian Sausage.

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