Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Filo Spinach Pie......

Hmmm, what's in my 'fridge? A packet of filo pastry which should be eaten this week, some fresh spinach and a tub of ricotta cheese! I confess that I fancied a Spanakopita-type of dish sometime this week, so I had the ingredients. But, you could knock up something just as delicious with some de-frosted puff pastry, some frozen spinach and a pack of Philadelphia cheese. Spanakopita is a lovely Greek dish; great for vegetarians as it is quite substantial.

Using spinach always sounds like hard work, but I have discovered that all you need to do to 'wilt' it (or partially cook it) is to put it into a colander and pour a kettle-full of boiling water over the top. just give it a squeeze to get rid of as much water as possible and then chop. Be careful; it retains its heat for a long time!

My version of Spanakopita (Serves 6-8)

This recipe took me about 20 minutes to make!

1 pack of filo pastry (or puff pastry)
2 leeks, chopped
350g of fresh spinach, wilted and roughly chopped
1 tub of ricotta
60g grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
a grating of nutmeg
2 eggs

Some olive oil for brushing

Heat the oven to 190 degrees/gas mk 4. Brush a roasting tin with oil.
Cook the leeks in a little oil until soft. Combine the leeks, spinach, ricotta, cheddar, seasoning, nutmeg and eggs.
Open the filo pastry and unroll the sheets, then cover them with a damp cloth. They dry out really quickly and then become brittle. Take two sheets and brush the top sheet all over with oil. Place in the roasting tin with the ends hanging over the edge. Take another two sheets, brush with oil and place in the tin, the other way round.
Tip the mixture on to the pastry in a sausage shape. Fold over the sides to make a parcel, then flip the parcel over, so the seam is underneath and make sure the surface is oiled all over.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until crisp and golden.

Then I went mad and baked some biscotti and some little cakes for the children! Phew!

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