Sunday, 17 January 2016

Spinach Pie, σπανακόπιτα

Sorry for being MIA, but it’s been a crazy, crazy week—graduation + family visiting…

Anyway, I decided to make a huge tray of Spinach Pie for the welcome dinner—which also gave me the perfect opportunity to put this recipe together. I would just like to point out how incredibly difficult it was to write up this recipe. With baking, you really have to depend on exact measurements; but with cooking, I find that nothing ever is precise, and you really rely on adding a pinch of this or that, to add more flavour to your dish without radically altering the chemical makeup of the food. With that said, feel free to add or take away any of the ingredients you don’t like in my recipe. I promise it won’t hurt your dish and it will definitely still taste great.

Spinach pie [spanakopita], or σπανακόπιτα, or even σπανακοτυρόπιτα [spinach & cheese pie] if you want to be precise, has always been my favourite. Ever since I was little I would pester my mom/aunt/grandma to make spinach pie for me—I don’t need to anymore because they already know to make it when I’m coming over. However, just because I love the spinach pie my family makes, doesn’t mean all spanakopitas are created equal. I’ve often left a restaurant/bakery feeling underwhelmed because the balance in the pie is off. What I mean by this is that some people are stingy on the feta, or add yoghurt, or their fylo is dry, or there is a lack of seasoning etc., in any case, it is NEVER as good as the family recipes. Which is why I decided to share the wealth and give you all the BEST spanakotiropita recipe.

Spinach Pie

900g frozen Spinach, thawed
500g fresh Baby Spinach
1 large Onion, chopped
1 head of Garlic, chopped
80g Scallions, chopped
600g Feta, chopped
90g fresh Parsley, chopped
90g fresh Dill, chopped
Salt & Pepper
2x Jus Roll Puff Pastry 320g
Olive Oil
3 large Eggs

1. Thaw out all your frozen spinach and squeeze it free of all water. Then rinse the baby spinach and do the same.
2. In a large saucepan, add half a cup of Olive oil. Sautéed your onions, garlic, and scallions until translucent. Then add your spinach. Add salt and pepper, and continue to sautéed for 5-10 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat and let cool.
sauteed onions, garlic, scallions and spinach
3. Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease a large baking pan with butter or olive oil, and line the bottom layer with puff pastry.
4. When your spinach mixture has slightly cooled, add dill, parsley, feta, and 3 eggs. Mix with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
chop your feta
add three eggs, your feta, and your herbs, and mix

5. Pour your filling into the baking pan, and spread until it has evenly covered the pan. Then add your second sheet of puff pastry. Don’t worry if there are wrinkles in the pastry- it will still taste amazing once it has cooked. Lightly brush the top of the pastry with olive oil, and score it in a diamond or square shaped patterned. 

crimp the edges inwards 
score the top layer and brush it with oil
6. Bake in the oven for about 40-50 minutes or until really golden on the top. Let cool and dig in!

If you are looking for more Greek recipes, be sure to check out my delicious  lahanodolmades (stuffed cabbage) and my recipe for Biftekia (Greek Burgers)

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