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Spanakopita | This is as Greek as it gets!|

Spanakopita

Our friend Ms Vee, who produces the most amazing olive oil, shared this recipe with us. We found the taste takes you back to the sun-drenched beaches of the Aegean.  Ms Vee has also offered our subscribers the opportunity to order her November pressing of the wonderful oil directly from the Olive Groves in the Messinia region known for high-quality extra virgin olive oil of the ‘Koroneiki’ variety

Spanakopita as Greek as It Gets

Pies are a staple food of the Greeks. They tend to have cheese and spinach pies for breakfast but also throughout the day. This recipe can be created with fresh vegetables but the beauty of it is that is can also be made with frozen spinach.

Characteristic of the Recipe

This is an easy recipe that requires 30 minutes of preparation and one hour in the oven. Feel free to make your own combination of greens i.e. you can mix spinach with kale or leeks. Similarly, you can also replace feta with other white cheeses (e.g. Greek manouri) if you want more flavour specifically.

Spanakopita

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By Aemilia Vee Serves: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour

This is an easy recipe that requires 30 minutes of preparation and one hour in the oven. Feel free to make your own combination of greens i.e. you can mix spinach with kale or leeks. Similarly, you can also replace feta with other white cheeses (e.g. Greek manouri) if you want more flavor specificity.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of filo pastry
  • 2 250g packets of fresh spinach (or 2 packets of mixed greens) or 500 gr of frozen spinach
  • 3 fresh spring onions cut into rings
  • 4 tbl. chopped dill
  • 2 tsp. dry grated mint
  • 40 ml of Huile de Vee extra virgin olive oil for filling + 40 ml for the greens
  • 500 g feta chopped or grated by hand
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 70 grams oatmeal
  • 100 g butter

Instructions

1

Remove the filo pastry from the freezer 2 hours before you start preparing for the pie. Chop leek, onions, and dill.

2

In a deep frying pan, put 40 ml. of oil and heat to medium heat. Pour the spinach into the hot oil and cook for 5 minutes stirring regularly. You will see how it is slowly thawing if frozen or wilting if fresh.

3

Add the onion after five minutes and let it sauté with the spinach and stir.

4

Gradually add dill, mint, salt, and pepper. Stir for 10 minutes, until all the mixture is combined and free of its juices.

5

Turn off the heat, add the grated cheese and eggs. Stir well to combine and allow the mixture to cool for 30 mins before putting it on the pie. This will avoid the bottom leaves will get soggy and will not cook properly.

6

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. In a large tray, pour some oil, spread it all over the bottom and the walls. Place the first sheet in the center. Lightly grease all over and place the second one and grease as before and then do the same to the third one. Then add the filling

7

With a spatula, straighten the filling in the pan and add another sheet on top of it, which you also grease. Then the remaining 4 sheets will be placed as draped curtains on the previous sheet. Each sheet will straighten so that it holds up to ¼ of the length of the pan. The 4 sheets you will completely cover the surface. This spreading is done so that there are air gaps and large surfaces that will be become very crisp in the oven

8

You have the option of glazing the top layer with egg or milk. The draped sheets of filo become much crunchier with butter. So, melt the butter, pour it along the length and breadth of the pan, and cover all the visible surfaces with a brush.

9

If you want you can cut the pieces of the pie with a knife to allow them to be easily cut when ready; this also allows the moisture to escape during baking.

10

Place the pie in the oven at 180ºC. 10. Bake the pie for about 50 mins to 1 hour, depending on the oven. You may need to place the pan on the bottom of the oven for the first half hour. This cooks the bottom leaves. Place, the baking dish back into the middle of the oven after 30 minutes, so that the top sheet is properly cooked.

11

When ready, take the pie out of the oven and allow it to cool.

Notes

Serve with a fresh mixed salad or just on its own as a starter.

Wine Match

To capture these glorious summer days we served a lively Prosecco to enjoy with this dish. If you want to follow this with a  light summery meal, you might select a RieslingPinot Gris or light Moscato. Available from Naked Wines 

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