Sunday, 11 February 2018

Spinach and feta pies

Here's a nice recipe to use up that random filo pastry you bought. I love Greek food and have found myself missing it as of late. So, I thought what better weekend lunch to prepare than a Greek Spanakopita (Greek for spinach pie). It's simple and quick to make, tastes delish, and reminds you of a sunny Greek beach in the midst of a chilly winter; what's not to love? 

This recipe only makes three triangle pies but if you want to make more, just increase the quantities and use more pastry sheets.

2 sheets filo pastry
6 ­­-8 approx. frozen spinach portions (defrosted)
100 g feta cheese (diced)
50 g butter (melted)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1-2 tbs olive oil


1)      Preheat the oven to 180°C/350 F/ Gas 4 and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2)      Put the spinach in a sieve over a small mixing bowl. Using the back of a spoon, push the spinach slightly against the mesh of the sieve to squeeze the water out. Blot the spinach with kitchen paper to get rid of any water still hiding on the surface. Once you’re sure all the water has been squeezed out of the spinach, tip it out into a separate bowl.
3)      Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic. Fry for 1-2 minutes on a medium heat until golden. Add the garlic to the spinach along with the feta cheese. Rub the mixture together with your fingers, crushing the feta cheese cubes into the spinach.
4)      Place 1 sheet of filo pastry on the work surface with the longest edge facing you. Brush with butter and place the other sheet on top, brushing this one with butter too. With a sharp knife, cut the buttered pastry vertically into three equal sections.
5)      Place 1-2 tablespoons of the spinach and feta filling onto the top left corner of one of the sections and fold the pastry over to meet the other side, making a triangular shape. Continue to fold the triangle down the length of the pastry until you reach the end. Cut off any excess pastry and pat down the edges to close any big gaps. Repeat with the other two sections.
6)      Place the triangles on the baking tray and brush generously with butter. Bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool a little bit before enjoying 😊.


·        If you have any pastry and filling leftover, you could try doing a spiral-shaped pie: Layer 2 pieces of filo pastry on top of each other, using melted butter to stick them together. Cut a square out of the pastry and brush the top layer with more butter. Dot some spinach and feta filling along one edge and spread it down the length with your fingers so there’s no gaps. Tightly fold the pastry over the filling and continue to roll it up to the other end into a sausage shape. Brush this with more melted butter and, starting from the end closest to you, roll the sausage up into a spiral. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. As you can see from my photo, filo pastry tends to crack very easily when you roll it up in this way, so if you are going to choose this shape, you should work quickly and aim not to leave the filo pastry sitting on the side too long (exposure to air makes the pastry go dry).