27 April 2013

SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE

SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE
I clearly have a soft spot for all things spinach or herb with feta, encased in crispy flaky filo pastry, with this dish making no exception. 
SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE
I found this recipe years ago on the Web, and it has become one of our favourite spring and summer dishes. It is similar to TURKISH BOREK which is a little more spicy with added chilies, dill and spring onions but that is much thinner and fried on the stove inside a pan and served in wedgesand also to FETA CHEESE AND HERB STRUDELS, small individual crispy Strudels but with feta and herbs rather than spinach. 
SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE
I guess it resembles more the Greek Spanakopita, baked in the oven like a pie, and makes a much larger, richer dish. The original recipe from Lesley Waters includes roasted pine nuts and raisins, but we have always left them out as we prefer it without the sweet note. It is a great dish, with crisp layers of golden buttery filo sheets on the outside and a moist and scrumptous feta-flavoured spinach layer on the inside. Delicious served with a simple tomato salad. 

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Makes app. 8 portions:
600g spinach leaves
knob Butter, plus extra for greasing
1 large red onion
freshly grated Nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
225g Feta cheese
3 Eggs
225g Filo pastry
melted Butter for brushing
(optional: 85g toasted pine nuts, 55g raisins)

Also: a shallow baking dish, app. 20x30cm. 
SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Lightly butter the baking dish. 
For the filling: wash the spinach and dry it, small portions at a time, using a salad spinner if at hand. Heat a knob of butter in a large saucepan, add the spinach and cook it on medium-low heat for a couple of minutes until the leaves are wilted. If the spinach does not all fit into the pot, add some of it first, wait until it starts to wilt and then add the rest. 
SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIESPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE
When the spinach is wilted, put it into a fine sieve and squeeze out any excess liquid with a large spoon, then roughly chop and put it into a large bowl.
SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIESPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE
Peel and finely dice the onion. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion over medium heat for app. 5-6 minutes until it is lightly browned and softened. 
SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIESPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE
Add the onion to the spinach, stir together and season well with nutmeg, salt and pepper then leave to cool. Cut the feta cheese into small cubes. Add the cheese together with the eggs to the cooled spinach and stir under. 
SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIESPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE
Lay a pastry sheet inside the buttered dish, leaving the excess pastry hanging over the sides of the dish, and brush with melted butter. Repeat with 3 more layers of buttered pastrySpoon the spinach-feta filling on top, spread out evenly then level off the surface.
SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIESPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE
Fold the pastry edges over, then top with another 4 or 5 layers of buttered pastry layered inside the dish (cut large sheets in half and then lay them over, brushing each half with butter)Score the top gently with a sharp knife in a cross-hatch/diamond shape pattern.
SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45-50 minutes and until golden brown. 
SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE
SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE
Serve warm with a simple tomato salad made with red onion, salt, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. 
SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE


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SPINACH AND FETA FILO PIE




Makes app. 8 portions

600g spinach leaves
knob Butter, plus extra for greasing
1 large red onion
freshly grated Nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
225g Feta cheese
3 Eggs
225g Filo pastry
melted Butter for brushing
(optional: 85g toasted pine nuts, 55g raisins)

Also: a shallow baking dish, app. 20x30cm. 

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Lightly butter the baking dish. 
For the filling: wash the spinach and dry it, small portions at a time, using a salad spinner if at hand. Heat a knob of butter in a large saucepan, add the spinach and cook it on medium-low heat for a couple of minutes until the leaves are wilted. If the spinach does not all fit into the pot, add some of it first, wait until it starts to wilt and then add the rest. When the spinach is wilted, put it into a fine sieve and squeeze out any excess liquid with a large spoon, then roughly chop and put it into a large bowl. Peel and finely dice the onion. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion over medium heat for app. 5-6 minutes until it is lightly browned and softened. Add the onion to the spinach, stir together and season well with nutmeg, salt and pepper then leave to cool. Cut the feta cheese into small cubes. Add the cheese together with the eggs to the cooled spinach and stir under. Lay a pastry sheet inside the buttered dish, leaving the excess pastry hanging over the sides of the dish, and brush with melted butter. Repeat with 3 more layers of buttered pastrySpoon the spinach-feta filling on top, spread out evenly then level off the surface. Fold the pastry edges over, then top with another 4 or 5 layers of buttered pastry layered inside the dish (cut large sheets in half and then lay them over, brushing each half with butter)Score the top gently with a sharp knife in a cross-hatch/diamond shape pattern. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45-50 minutes and until golden brown. Serve warm with a simple tomato salad made with red onion, salt, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. 
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