Alexandra Stratou’s Spanakopita, aka Spinach Pie
Time: under 2 hours
To make a pie, one simply has to contain ingredients inside layers of dough. I imagine that at some point there were no recipes for them, as they were just filled with leftovers or abundant produce from a family’s vegetable garden. Pies are perfect when you need to feed large groups of people – you can make them in advance, they don’t need much fussing over, and people always love them! This spanakopita recipe has earned me many moments of glory, and I hope it will do the same for you.
extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large leek, finely chopped
500g various greens, such as chard, washed, stems removed, and leaves coarsely chopped
500g spinach, washed, stems removed, and leaves coarsely chopped
500g crumbled feta cheese
3 large eggs
1 x 225g package filo dough
Coat a large frying pan with olive oil and place over medium high heat. Add the onion and leek and cook until golden. Add the greens and spinach, cover the pan with a lid, and allow to wilt. Add a bit of water if the pan becomes too dry. Remove from the heat and drain to remove any excess liquid before transferring the greens to a bowl. Mix in the feta, eggs, and pepper. Taste and season, if needed.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Brush a 33x23cm baking dish or pan with olive oil. Start the pie by laying a filo sheet on all four sides of the baking dish. Each sheet should partially cover the bottom of the dish, with the rest hanging over the edge. Brush every piece of filo that you lay on the dish with oil. Then place five sheets in the centre, brushing each with oil. Add the filling and spread it out evenly.
Place five more sheets of filo over the filling, brushing each with oil, then fold over the overhanging sheets that you started with. Cut any excess filo away with scissors or a knife and use your pastry brush to tuck the filo in around the edges of the dish. Score the top with a sharp knife, marking the pieces you wish to cut later. Sprinkle with a little water.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the filo is golden brown.
Extracted from Cooking with Loula by Alexandra Stratou (Artisan Books, approx €26), out now. Copyright © 2016. Photographs by Ioanna Roufopoulou.