Spanahopita Recipe

Spanahopita Recipe
Ingredients:

2 lbs of fresh spinach, roughly chopped or if frozen - thaw well
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
½ cup olive oil, for brushing layers of filo pastry
4 medium onions, chopped
1 bunch of spring onions, chopped
1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
Grated zest of 1 lemon
7 ozs feta cheese, crumbled
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
grated nutmeg, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb filo pastry

Method:

Pre-heat oven on 180c/350F/mark 4.

First wash and drain the chopped spinach. If using frozen spinach - thaw completely, squeeze excess water. Roughly chop the spinach.

Then heat the butter in a deep pan and add the chopped spinach. Let the spinach cook for about 5 minutes, until wilted. Then drain in a colander and using the back of a large spoon, press hard to get rid of as much excess liquid as possible. Set aside.

In a pan, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the onions until they are tender. Then add the spinach along with the parsley and cook for another ten minutes. Then, add the nutmeg along with the grated lemon. Season well with salt and pepper.

Next, remove the pan from the heat and leave the spinach mixture aside to cool completely. Once cooled, stir through the lightly beaten eggs, crumbled feta and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly oil a rectangular pan and set aside. Now, carefully remove the filo pastry from the packet and cover with damp tea towel, in order to prevent the pastry from drying out. Make sure to work quickly. Add a layer of approximately 10 sheets of filo pastry, brushing each layer in between with olive oil. Next, add the spinach mixture evenly and then add another ten sheets
of filo pastry again - making sure to brush with olive oil between the filo
layers. Don't forget to also brush the top layer with a little olive oil.

Before baking, score the top layer of filo with a sharp knife into square pieces. This will make it easier to cut later.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield: Serves 6-8

Tips:

On some of the Greek islands, short crust pastry or puff is used instead of filo.
If you don’t like spinach, you can substitute this with leeks, or chard.
If you don’t like the saltiness of Feta cheese, try adding half feta and half ricotta.
Before cooking the pie, it can be placed in the freezer to harden before you score the pastry.
Instead of parsley, you can use chopped fresh dill.


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