Wow, sorry for the MIA but things have gotten out of control at work with those 10-12 hrs shift, and with all those post-holiday syndrome, I just didn’t feel like turning on the computer the moment I reach home. But things are getting in order now and I have some time to post this up.
I actually made this during midnight for one of the World Cup matches (either semis or finals). I’ve always enjoyed working with filo pastry BUT everytime I make anything with filo, it freaks me out a little HAHA.
Filo (or also known as phyllo) are paper-thin translucent sheets of pastry commonly used in Greek, eastern European and Middle Eastern cuisines. Several layers are stacked together with melted butter to strengthen the delicate sheets. More commonly, it is used for baklava, strudels, burek and samosas.
Spanakopita is a Greek spinach savoury pie made mostly from filo pastry. The filling of spinach, feta cheese, eggs and onions are wrapped in layers of filo pastry, then baked till crispy.
For this version of spanakopita, I decided to add in sundried tomato and some dried oregano herbs and some lemon zest to enhance the flavour alongside feta cheese and some lightly sauteed baby spinach. Leeks can be added in as well but let’s just say that I’m not the biggest fan of leeks.
The filling is made by lightly sauteeing baby spinach in garlic oil, drained and added with some feta cheese cubes, egg, herbs, lemon zest and chopped sundried tomato. The oil in the sundried tomato bottle can be kept and used for brushing the filo pastry layers as it would have alot of flavour. I melted some butter and added the sundried tomato oil, brushed each layer of filo (about 4-5 layers) in order to form the pie. Pine nuts are also added to give it some nutty taste and crunch (not that there isn’t enough crunch in the filo pastry)
It also can be made into an individual triangle or cup. Since filo pastry comes in a big sheet, feel free to cut or fold in any shape you want.
The thin layers of pastry alternating with melted butter resulted in a very crispy pie, especially when it is warm.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 300g baby spinach leaves
- 80g jar sundried tomatoes in oil
- 100g feta cheese, crumbled
- 50g pine nuts
- 2 eggs
- ½ 250g pack filo pastry
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Pinch of salt and black pepper to taste
- 50g butter, melted
- In a hot pan, toast pine nuts till golden brown. Remove pine nuts into a bowl. Melt butter over a medium heated pan, add in baby spinach and toss. Tip into a sieve, leave to cool a little, then squeeze out any excess water and roughly chop.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes and put into a bowl along with the spinach, feta, pine nuts, lemon zest, eggs, dried oregano, salt and black pepper. Mix well.
- Carefully unroll the filo pastry. Cover with some damp sheets of kitchen paper to stop it drying out. Melt butter, add in 30-50ml of the sundried tomatoes oil.
- Take a sheet of pastry and brush liberally with some of the oil. Drape oil-side down in a 22cm loose bottomed cake tin or cake ring so that some of the pastry hangs over the side. Brush oil on another piece of pastry and place in the tin, just a little further round. Keep placing the pastry pieces in the tin until you have roughly 4 layers, then spoon over the filling.
- Pull the sides into the middle, scrunch up and make sure the filling is covered. Brush with a little more oil.
- Heat oven to 180C. Cook the pie for 30 mins until the pastry is crisp and golden brown. Remove from the cake tin, slice into wedges and serve with a wedge of lemon.