Several years ago my mum lived in Greece. Apparently every night on the way home from work she would stop at a little shop that only sold pies, the tastiest, yummiest pies in the world. There weren’t any meat pies, just rows and rows of spanikopita or tiropita (feta cheese pies).
Now, mum sometimes makes her own version of spinach pie to remind her of the times she lived in Greece. She normally makes a Greek salad to go with it because in Greece the horiatiki, a salad made with tomatoes, cucumber, fat black olives, feta cheese and spinkled with oregano is served with every meal.
Mum has tried lots of spanikopita recipes over the years and her current favourite is from the Donna Hay fast, fresh,simple book that Kayi and I gave her for Christmas. She says that it is nice and light and the mint makes it quite fresh. Today mum used rainbow chard from the garden instead of spinach and she didn’t make little open top pies like the ones in the book. She just made one big one.
- 6 sheets of filo pastry
- 40g melted butter
- 250 frozen spinach (or fresh spinach or silverbeet/chard)
- 500g ricotta
- 2 eggs
- 1/3c grated parmesan
- 1/2 c chopped mint leaves
- sea salt and plenty of cracked black pepper
- 75g feta chopped
- Preheat oven to 180°C . Brush the filo sheets with butter and place them on top of each other. Cut the sheets into half so that you have 2 rectangles, then put them on baking trays lined with non stick baking paper. (mum just lined a pie tin with the filo then put the filling in it and put some more filo on top)
- Squeeze excess liquid out of the spinach. If using fresh spinach, wilt it down a bit but still squeeze the excess liquid out of it.
- Mix the ricotta, eggs, parmesan, mint, salt and pepper then add the spinach and combine.
- Either divide the filling into the 2 rectangles of filo leaving a 5 cm border. Fold the pastry over to form the border, sprinkle the filo on the filling. (OR, just put the filling into a pie tin lined with filo, add some feta and put more filo on top!)
- Bake for around 35 minutes or until the filling has set.
Donna Hay’s recipe says it serves 2 but mum’s one was enough for 4 plus extra.