This recipe for spinach pie is one of the classics of Greek cuisine. It can also be made in small triangles and is served as part of a mezze, or is an important part of the Lenten menu.
- 375 g pkt filo pastry (approx. 22 sheets)
- 3 bunches (750 g) fresh spinach, stems removed, washed
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 bunch (300 g) green onions, cleaned, cut into ½ cm slices
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 200 g feta cheese, crumbled
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- ¾ cup (180 ml) extra virgin olive oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time 1 hour 30 minutes
If the filo is frozen, remove from the freezer and place in the fridge the day before using. Remove the filo pastry from the fridge and stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before starting the recipe.
Chop the spinach finely. Place in a large colander or sieve over a bowl, and sprinkle evenly with salt. Place a weight on top (a large dinner plate topped with a few cans or jars works well) and leave for 1 hour to drain.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Oil the base and sides of a 25 cm x 35 cm baking dish and line the base with baking paper.
Rinse the spinach well under running water. Drain well, and squeeze out as much water as possible. Place the spinach in a large bowl. Add the green onion, dill, mint, feta and egg, and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, remembering that feta is salty and the spinach has been salted.
Dampen a tea towel with water. Remove the filo from the packet, unroll carefully, and cover with a large piece of baking paper. Top with the damp tea towel. To ensure the filo doesn’t dry out and tear, each time you remove a sheet, replace the baking paper and damp tea towel.
One at a time, lay 14 filo sheets into the prepared baking dish, brushing every second sheet with olive oil. Top with the spinach mixture, spreading evenly and pressing with the back of a spoon to pack tightly. Top with the remaining filo sheets, brushing every second sheet with olive oil. Brush the top sheet with olive oil and tuck any excess filo into the baking dish. Using a sharp knife, cut into squares, three-quarters of the way through to the bottom of the tray.
Bake for 50–60 minutes, or until the top of the pie is golden and crisp. Cut squares through to the base. Serve hot or at room temperature.