Spanikopita – Greek spinach pie

spanikopita greek spinach pieAfter cooking this a few times, make it your own! My favourite way to cook this is with silverbeet; it adds fabulous texture. I first separate the stalks from the leaves, then sauté the chopped stalks for a few minutes in olive oil. I then add two chopped leeks and continue until soft. In goes the silverbeet leaves and water to wilt. This—with the currants—makes an everyday dish… extraordinary.

Serves 6

1 kg fresh spinach
4 spring onions
200gm feta cheese
2 eggs
2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp fresh dill
3 tbsp currants (optional)
8 sheets of filo pastry (30 x 18cm approx) thawed
100ml extra virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper

Delicious and easy peasy
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

Rinse the spinach in cold water and drain, at least three times. Dry thoroughly.

Blanch the spinach leaves in a small amount of boiling water for 2 minutes or until just wilted. Drain and refresh under cold water, drain again and chop.

Chop the scallions and herbs, crumble the feta and beat the eggs. Add these to a bowl with the spinach—the currants if using—and then stir thoroughly. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Brush a sheet of filo pastry with olive oil and fit it into a 23cm pie dish, allowing it to hang over the edges. Add a few more sheets, brushing them with olive oil and placing them at differing angles.

Spoon the filling into the filo pastry case. Top with the remaining filo sheets, brushing with oil as you go. Fold the overhanging pastry over the top to seal.

Brush the pie with olive oil. Brush the edges with water to stop them burning.

Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the pie to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with a slice of lemon, a spoon of Greek yogurt and a crisp green salad.

Recipe adapted from “The Complete Book of Greek Cooking” by Rena Salaman and Jan Cutler.

2 Responses to Spanikopita – Greek spinach pie

  1. Trudy Bray says:

    Hi, your recipe for Spinako Pita doesn’t consider the oxalic acid in all green leafy veg. Warrigal Greens, for instance, are high in oxalic acid and need to be blanched before cooking in anything to remove most of the oxalic acid. Silver Beet is not as high but to put it in a dish to wilt is to deposit the oxalic acid in the dish. Oxalic acid binds to calcium so you don’t get the calcium from the food but it also binds to calcium in your body and removes it.

    This is also the reason raw spinach should never be eaten but people happily consume raw spinach salads thinking they are eating healthy. Parsley has the highest oxalic acid content but people eat so little raw parsley that it doesn’t really matter.

    1. Sharon says:

      Hi Trudy, Thanks for your comment – there are blanching instructions above, the par starting with “Blanch the spinach leaves in a small amount of boiling water…” … oooh but what about tabbouli?

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