The best way to eat spinach
We make this at work, the simple Greek pie sits, luring with its eggy greenness. Customers point; what is that? I giggle and look at my colleague, ‘it’s spankapotitta, spanikapota, it’s spinach and egg filo.’
“I’ll have some,” they say, sometimes they smile and try to pronounce it themselves, but mostly they just take the pie and go.
So seriously, I know that it is Spanakopita and pronounced SPANA KO PITA but I used to say SPANI KOPITA, unless I stop and concentrate it comes out like I am trying to spit out feathers. It does not matter for it is delicious, cheap and good for you.
I use a relatively healthy version but used to consume dish loads of the authentic stuff from that little Greek lady in Walthamstow I talked about here she is, on this page.
This link here will take you to a more authentic version, with much more explanation and a bit of knowledge. I just want to make something quick, and eat it warm so here is the recipe I use and give out from the red folder.
I use a 250mm square tin and get eight big fat pieces out. You can use any dish size just make sure the eggs are cooked until just set, adjust the cooking time accordingly. The pie I used to eat, was thinner with more pastry. You will also need a pastry brush.
- 2 brown onions
- 2 – 4 cloves of garlic – your choice but include some
- rice bran oil
- 500g frozen spinach
- 12 eggs
- salt and pepper
- handful each of chopped dill and parsley – optional
- 200g unsalted feta, cubed
- a packet of filo pastry
- sesame seeds if you have them in the cupboard
Put the frozen spinach in a bowl of hot water to defrost, then slice your onions and crush the garlic. Saute the onion and garlic in about 1 tbsp of oil until they are soft and clear. Set aside to cool when done. Go back to the spinach and squeeze out all the moisture, it must be dry, then roughly chop. If it is still releasing water on the board use kitchen towel to cover and push down to mop up like a spill. In a large bowl beat the eggs, add the dill and parsley if using. When the onions are cool add to the egg mix with the feta and spinach, season to taste – a good tsp of salt and pepper for me. Grease your chosen dish with oil line the bottom with baking paper.
I buy a 375g of fresh filo, use about half, freeze the rest. Open the packet unroll the pastry, pour some of the oil into a dish and using your pastry brush quickly and lightly paint over the top surface on the pile . You are not trying to cover the whole area, just getting some on there do not stress.
Flip this piece over so you have a filo and oil sandwich. I find this the easiest way to work. Pop these two sheets into your dish, oil the pastry surface. You are looking to make an outer case with many layers. I lay the first sheet down on the bottom and coming up overlapping a lot one side, then repeat for the other three. All sides will have two layers and the bottom eight. Pour filling in, use another sandwich to cover the top, then fold the sides over to seal. Brush again with oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. if you have.
The pastry might rip and crinkle, as you layer, that just adds to the charm. Trust the process. Now, bake your beautiful pie in the oven at about 150°C for 40mins, maybe less if your dish is shallower than mine. You want the eggs to be just set, the pastry golden, so the filling is soft against the crunch of the pastry. Test by inserting a knife. If you overcook it will still taste good.
Allow to cool, cut into squares and eat, spinach never tasted so good, hot, warm or cold. YUM.