I can’t quite believe I’m about to share this recipe as it’s an old and very secret family recipe! At every family celebration this pie gets made by one of us – we all cook it slightly differently and we all think that ours is best! So here’s my recipe for Spanakotiropita or Spinach Pie.
- 1kg spinach, destalked (chard also works well)
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 10 spring onions (scallions), topped, tailed and chopped
- 200g feta cheese, diced
- 600g cottage cheese
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 400g filo pastry (in sheets)
- Steam the spinach over boiling water until wilted. You’ll have to do this in batches unless you have an industrial sized steamer! Collect the steamed spinach in a sieve to drain.
- Whilst the spinach is steaming you can heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and add the onion. Cook on a medium heat until translucent. Add the spring onions and cook for a further 2 minutes. Leave to cool.
- Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the cooked spinach. The t-towel method works for us! (Put the spinach in a clean t-towel, roll up and twist the ends in opposite directions like a christmas cracker). You’ll be left with a neat green ball of deliciousness.
- Using a sharp knife chop the spinach and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the cottage cheese, feta, nutmeg, parsley and onions and combine really well. Season with pepper. We don’t add salt because the feta is salty enough, but totally up to you.
- Add the beaten eggs and mix thoroughly. Hooray, you’ve made the pie innards!
- Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan).
- Lightly oil a heavy-bottomed baking dish (approx 35cm x 25cm). Lay the filo pastry out flat and put the rest of the olive oil in a cup. Using a pastry brush (or fingers) lightly brush the top sheet of pastry with oil.
- Layer the filo sheets in a way that creates an overhang around all four sides of the dish. You will be folding these back over your pie to create the top – a bit like wrapping a parcel. It needs to be at around 5 sheets thick on the bottom, but not too thick or your pie will have a soggy bottom!
- Pour the spinach and cheese mixture into the dish and smooth over. Place a few more sheets of filo over the top and carefully fold the sides in to make a giant spanakotiropita parcel. Brush the top with a little olive oil
- Place the pie in the oven for around 45 minutes or until golden brown. Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Notes: Gorgeous with a big salad and just as delicious cold or reheated the following day. I hope this pie brings as much joy to your table, as it’s brought to ours over the years! Enjoy.
Recipe by Homegrown Kate www.homegrownkate.com