Hello and welcome to another instalment of the Earth Eats series. Today we are traveling to Greece for a taste of Mediterranean cuisine; And since it is Monday we are going to be cooking a Greek meatless meal.
The cuisine of Greece is wonderful and I’ve never had a dish I didn’t like. Its use of fresh fruits, vegetables, olive oil, wine, seafood, lamb, olives, cheese, nuts, honey and yogurt make it among the healthiest foods in the world. Even if you aren’t the most adventures eater, I can almost guarantee that you’ve tasted Greek food. Foods and drinks like tzatziki, Mezés, gyros, pita, souvlaki, dolmathakia or stuffed grape leaves, Avgolemono or egg-lemon soup, feta cheese, baklava, Metaxa, and Ouzo are among the most popular. Another two very popular dishes from Greece are moussaka, often considered their national dish, and spanakopita. Moussaka is one of my husband’s favourite meals and I’ll share that recipe another time, today we’re talking spanakopita.
Spanakopita is a savoury pastry made using phyllo, spinach, onions, scallions, eggs and feta cheese. It can be baked in a large dish or shaped into small individual portions. Different recipes call for additional or a variation of ingredients, sometimes even tofu may be used for a vegan version. Additionally when phyllo dough is not available it may be replaced with pastry dough — as was the case for me.
As you can see the ingredients list is relatively small and though it takes a bit of time to prepare, it is very much worth every second of preparation and waiting. This is such a super easy recipe that even the novice cook can get it right on the first try. And the taste…it will blow your tastebuds away! From the first time I prepared it, it quickly became one of our favourite meals that went into our dinner rotations. This spinach pie is savoury, flaky, and bursting with amazing creamy flavours. You can serve it warm or cold –it tastes even better the next day.
Okay, let’s get cooking!
- 800 gm or 1.75 lbs frozen chopped spinach- defrosted *
- 3 green onions (100gm or 3.5 oz), finely chopped
- 1 small yellow onion (100gm or 3.5 oz), finely chopped
- 5 cloves or garlic, minced
- ground black pepper, to taste
- small handful chopped fresh parsley
- 200gm or 7 oz feta cheese
- 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp whole wheat or GF oat flour
- 2 large sheets of puff pastry**
- 1 egg lightly beaten for egg wash
- I like to use a rectangle 9x7 baking dish but you bay use a round one too.
- Strain and squeeze out all of the water from defrosted spinach, set aside. Preheat the oven to 175C or 350F, and line the baking dish with one sheet of puff pastry then set aside.
- Heat the oil, once warm saute the yellow and green onions until soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook until soft, then remove from heat. Mix the drained and defrosted spinach into the onions, sprinkle in the ground black pepper, then add the crumbled feta cheese. Taste to see if salt is needed -- feta can be salty so you may not need to add anymore salt. Next mix in the two lightly beaten eggs, then pour the mixture into the baking dish. If the bottom layer of puff pastry overlapped the dish, folded in now and brush with egg wash. Place the remaining sheet of puff pastry over the filled baking dish, and pinch the bottom and top layers of pastry to form a seal. Brush with egg wash, place in center of oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and crispy.
- Allow to cool before serving. This dish may be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator and either served cold, at room temperature or reheated.
**I always use two large sheets of puff pastry, just make sure what you purchase is large enough for a rectangle 9x7 baking dish. Alternatively you may use phyllo dough.
You seriously must make this scrumptious pie and see just how fantastic it tastes. You’ll love the flaky crust and the creamy spinach. You’ll taste the onion, spinach, and salty feta, the flavours combine so well and nothing over powers each other. This very filling meal is perfect for Meatless Monday or any other day of the week when you want to skip the meat.
Have a great week and go on and bake yourself some spanakopita!
Below are some very interesting Greek cookery books, in case you’re interested!;)