Dora’s Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)

spanakopita

INGREDIENTS – Makes 15-18 servings

Pastry

  • 1lb fylo pastry
  • Some extra virgin olive oil

Spinach Filling

  • A couple of spoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs spinach, cleaned, tough stems removed
  • 6 spring onions, cleaned, sliced in 1/4 inch lengths
  • 1 leek, cleaned, sliced into thumb-sized pieces (if very large, slice leek in half lengthwise before slicing)
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped fine
  • Handful of fresh dill, depending on how much you like, cut fine.
  • 1⁄2-3⁄4 lb feta cheese
  • 3 eggs, beaten. Village eggs are better than the supermarket ones.
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions and leek until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach and wait until the leaves wilt and the liquid has cooked off, about 8-10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool a bit. When cool enough to handle, finely chop the spinach and place in a large bowl.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Lightly oil (always use olive oil!) a 12 inch diameter metal baking pan (you can use a larger baking pan – you will just have a thinner pita, but don’t use a smaller one or the pieces will be too fat!), or a 10 x 15 inch rectangular baking pan.

Mix the dill and feta cheese into the spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste (careful with the salt – the feta will add quite a bit of its own). Pour the eggs over and give a stir to combine well.

Open up the fylo pastry and place on a work surface.

Layer half of the fylo in the pan, brushing each layer generously with olive oil. Let the edges to hang over the sides of the pan.

Put the spinach mixture in and press the top down gently to smooth filling. Tuck in the pastry draping over the edges.

Repeat layering with the remaining fylo, oiling each sheet generously.

Using a sharp knife, score the upper layers of pastry into the size pieces you will want to serve once the pie is baked- BE CAREFUL NOT TO CUT THROUGH BOTTOM PASTRY.

Bake the pie in the middle of the oven for approximately 40-45 minutes until it is golden brown. For the last 15-20 minutes, I put my baking pan directly on the oven floor to crisp it better.

Cool till just warm. Cut into serving pieces and serve either just warm or at room temperature.

Note: If my spinach filling appears to be too ‘wet’, I often take 2 of the fylo sheets and use them as a ‘layer’ between the spinach filling; these sheets absorb the extra liquid (they must not be brushed with oil).

Make sure you put it out of sight before dinner or your family will eat it all!

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