Spanakopita would have to be one of the most well known Greek dishes, common to many regions across Greece. It is a wonderful celebration of a season’s offerings and made using greens that are in season. Traditionally, it would be made using hand rolled filo pastry and assembled in a variety of formations, whether it be in a large circular tray or as individual scrolls or triangles.
A great spanakopita needs a great filling, which can be simply achieved by using the freshest ingredients on hand. We’ve used silverbeet spinach, English spinach, dill, parsley, spring onions and plenty of wonderful organic feta cheese from Halkidiki, Greece, a wonderful new feta by www.mayers.com.au.
While we have included a filling for the recipe below, feel free to adjust the type of greens and herbs that you use, according to taste and what’s available. Mixed with feta cheese and encased in crunchy filo pastry, the end result is delicious. We have used store bought filo pastry to simplify the process and guarantee that when you make this once, it will become a regular dinner favourite.
It’s easy to make, healthy and wholesome and a wonderful way to enjoy seasonal greens!
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1 bunch silverbeet spinach
1 bunch English spinach
½ bunch spring onions, chopped finely
1 bunch parsley, chopped finely
½ bunch dill, chopped finely
400g organic Feta cheese, crumbled
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
Cracked pepper, to taste
375g filo pastry
150g salted butter, melted
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Wash the spinach and chop the stems off. Place the spinach leaves into a pot of water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and drain. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach leaves. Chop finely and place in a large bowl. Add the spring onions, parsley, dill, feta cheese, eggs, salt and cracked pepper to the bowl. Using our hands, mix everything together until well combined.
Brush a round baking tray or dish with melted butter. Lay one piece of filo pastry on your workbench. Brush with melted butter. Place another layer of filo pastry on top and brush with melted butter. Spoon some of the feta and spinach mixture along the longest side of the filo pastry, approximately 1.5cm from the filo edge. Pull the filo edge up and over the spinach mixture and roll into a long log.
Continue the process of making the logs until all the mixture is used up (there will likely be some leftover filo pastry). Place the logs on the baking tray in a spiral formation, starting from the outer edges of the tray and working your way into the centre. Brush the top of the pastry liberally with butter. Sprinkle the top with black sesame seeds. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately.