Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Greek Feta & Spinach Pie

Following on from my Raspberry Cheesecake the other week, made with delicious, in-season raspberries, I thought I'd have a go at baking something else using seasonal produce. 

I often add frozen spinach to curries and things but as spinach is only in season for a few more weeks in the UK, I decided to find a recipe calling for it in its fresh form.  I found this recipe for a Feta and Spinach Greek Pie and gave it a go.  This dish is similar to traditional Spanakopita which, as a veggie, has been a staple dish for me on many Greek island holidays over the years!

It's really easy and the results far exceed the amount of effort put in.  I don't know about you, but that is the perfect kind of baking as far as I'm concerned!  I followed the original recipe fairly closely but adapted it a bit according to the quantities of the ingredients I had in.  

Recipe (serves 4)

200g bag fresh spinach leaves
Half a 270g jar of sundried tomatoes in oil*
100g feta cheese, crumbled
2 medium free-range eggs
Approx. 135g filo pastry sheets

*I used 80g sundried tomatoes (drained weight) but you can add more if you prefer

Loose-bottom cake or flan tin, anything from 20-24cm diameter will work fine

Pre-heat oven to 160C/Gas Mark 4.

1. Put the spinach into a large pan with a couple of tablespoons of water, then cook over a low heat until just wilted. Drain well in a sieve, squeezing excess water out with kitchen towel. Drain the sundried tomatoes, retaining the oil, and roughly chop.  Mix the tomatoes, spinach, eggs and feta together in a bowl. 

2. Carefully unroll the filo pastry. Take a sheet of pastry and brush with one teaspoonful of the sundried tomato oil. Drape oil-side down in the cake tin so that some of the pastry hangs over the sides of the tin. Brush another teaspoonful of oil on another piece of pastry and place in the tin, just a little further round. Keep placing the pastry pieces in the tin until you have roughly three layers.  

3. Pour the filling into the centre, then spread out to ensure an even filling.  Pull the sides of pastry over the filling, scrunch up and make sure the filling is covered. Brush with a little more of the tomato oil if needed.

4. Cook for approx 30 mins until the pastry is crisp and golden brown. 

It turned out much better than I expected, so I think I will stick to the same quantities next time.  I was worried you wouldn't be able to taste the cheese as it didn't look much going into the mixture but considering there's only 25g of feta per serving, it tastes really rich.   All in all, the perfect quick summer meal when served warm with a baby leaf salad!

It would be really easy to adapt to your personal taste and to include whatever you happened to have in.  It's pretty low on calories and fat too, not that you'd know from eating it as it's very tasty and substantial.  I've still got half a pack of pastry in and half the sundried tomatoes so I think I'll be making it again before the end of the week!


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