Friday, November 9, 2012

Guest post: Spanakopita

One of my favourites! Cooked by the wonderful Jac at CRAP Mamma. Not read her blog? You are MISSING OUT. Get over there. She cracks me up. xo

Coming from Greek heritage (well half of it is anyway, the other half are a mixture of German-English-Aussies), food tends to be central to all get-togethers, celebrations and just life in general. Whilst I don’t always cook from a Greek menu at home, there are a couple of traditionally Greek recipes that frequent our dinner table. Spanakopita is one of those. Apart from the pastry, I love that it’s relatively healthy, with protein and omegas from the eggs, a decent dose of vitamin C and iron from the spinach and not-to-mention a hit of calcium from the yummy addition of feta cheese.

I also love the versatility of this recipe and in all honesty, every single one of my spanakopitas has a different flavour depending on what I’ve ‘tweaked’ that day. Depending on your tastes, you might like to replace baby spinach for silverbeet or even leeks. The feta can be Greek or Danish (both have very different textures and flavours) and if you like a smoother texture and flavour you can add a small tub of ricotta to the feta mix. The herbs are fairly flexible too; I used mint for this one but you can replace it with dill or use a mixture of both depending on what you like. It’s a simple recipe that you can make according to your own family’s tastes. Don’t be afraid to play with the filling because it’s a pretty forgiving mix.

Enjoy and yassou x

Spanakopita (spinach and feta pie)
Serves 4-5
250g fresh baby spinach
400g good quality feta cheese
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
6 eggs (plus one for an egg wash).
4-5 sheets store bought frozen puff pastry (traditional spanakopita uses filo pastry but I find it too fiddly and time consuming, not-to-mention the additional fat content…)
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons chopped mint
Couple of tablespoons olive oil

1. Lay out pastry sheets on bench to thaw.

2. In a heavy-based frypan or wok heat sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until transparent. Add baby spinach and sweat down until just cooked. Remove from heat.

3. In another large bowl lightly whisk eggs then add crumbled feta and mint. Add cooled spinach mix to egg-slush and mix gently.

4. Line base and sides of 20x30cm(ish) lasagne tray with pastry making sure the bottom is completely sealed.

5. Pour filling onto base and spread evenly (don’t worry if it looks a little watery, that means your pie will be nice and moist).

6. Top with the last of your pastry, brush with a little egg-wash, prick some holes in the top and pop into oven for about 45 mins or until the pastry is evenly browned.

You can eat this immediately or serve cold. This recipe freezes well too.

About Me: 
Jacqui likes to write, cook and drink coffee and when she’s doing none of those, she’s usually running around outside the house with chook poo between her toes trying to land a water-balloon on one of her 3 crazy boys. Jacqui blogs over at CRAP Mamma where she talks all things kids, family, cooking and just CRAP (Creative Relaxed Approach Parenting) in general. 

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