recipe: my easy take on Spanakopita

We all have firm holiday memories that can be evoked with the right plateful. A chewy, crusty baguette with Emmental reminds me of all of those French road side stops of my childhood. A smoky chicken wing with blue cheese sends me back to the Deep South and Thai basil transports me right back to a rainy veranda in Laos.

Feta and spinach are quintessential flavours of Greece and Spanakopita makes the most of this famous pairing by wrapping them in crispy golden pastry. This recipe delivers all of the flavour but with less of the fuss and is a great lunch for unexpected guests or a light, summer supper.

Ingredients

  • 1 roll of ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1/2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 2 leeks, finely sliced
  • 200g spring greens or spinach, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 120g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp of grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley
  • dash of milk

Method

  1. Remove the pastry from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature for 30 mins before cooking.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius.
  3. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and add the butter and oil. Add the leeks  and fry for 5 minutes until the leeks are soft.
  4. Add the spring greens and cook for 5 minutes until the leaves wilt. (If using baby spinach this will take less time, just a minute or two.)
  5. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  6. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper.
  7. Roll the pastry out carefully onto the baking tray. If you have large cracks then press them back together carefully but don’t worry too much if they are on the edges; cracks mean crunch!
  8. Mark a rectangle 1.5 inches inside the outside edge of the pastry with a small sharp knife. Take care not to cut all the way through the pastry.
  9. Mix the cooked greens with the feta, parmesan, eggs, dill and parsley and season with a few grinds of pepper.
  10. Spread the mixture evenly onto the pastry inside the pastry border. Brush the border with milk.
  11. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown, turning 180 degrees half way through if required.
  12. Serve with a simple tomato and red onion salad and enjoy!

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