Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cookbook challenge, week 23: Spinach pie (spanikopita)

This week's theme: leaf. I decided to try a recipe from one of my older cookbooks, Cooking the Greek Way (published 1984!). Side note: I love looking through old cookbooks but find it harder to want to cook from them, as the food styling isn't always the most attractive!

Anyway, the recipe chosen was spinach pie. It fits the leaf theme nicely with plenty of spinach, parsley and dill. The original recipe specified 15 sheets of phyllo pastry and 3/4 cup melted butter, but I used the much easier and healthier alternative of puff pastry)

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
500g frozen spinach, thawed
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tbs fresh/1 tbs dried dill (I left this out)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup finely crumbed feta cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
dash of nutmeg
2-3 sheets puff pastry (depending on size and shape of dish.

Preheat oven to 180ÂșC.
Strain and squeeze excess moisture from the thawed spinach.
Heat olive oil in a frypan over medium-high heat.
Add onions and cook 4 minutes while stirring.
Add spinach and cook 3 more minutes.
Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.
While cooling, mix together the parsley, dill, eggs, cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan, or a quiche dish, or similar.
Line the base with a single layer of puff pastry.
Stir the herb and spice mixture into the spinach.
Spread the mix evenly on the pastry.
Cover with another layer of puff pastry. Seal edges by moistening with a little water.
Cut a cross in the middle to allow steam to escape.
Bake for 45 minutes until golden.
Cool 5 minutes before slicing.

Filling the pie:


About to go into the oven:




About to eat:


It was pretty tasty! Interestingly it had a bit of a zingy, lemon flavour, despite no lemon in the recipe. Although it would be deviating from the original recipe even more, I'd like to try it using a shortcrust pastry, it's a great pie filling.

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