Project Description

Spanakopita is one of the classics of Greek cuisine and is an important part of the Lenten menu. It can be made as a pie or as small triangles and served as part of a meze.

Spanakopita (Silverbeet Pie)

Serves 8
Preparation: 60 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 Minutes + 5 mins resting time

Ingredients:

375 g packet filo pastry, about 22 sheets, thawed
2-3 bunches (750g) of silverbeet (Swiss chard), stems removed
1 tablespoon salt
1 bunch (300g) shallots, trimmed and cut into 5mm rounds
1/4 cup finely chopped dill
1/4 cup finely chopped mint leaves
200 g feta, crumbled
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. If the filo is frozen, remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator the day before it’s needed. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before starting the recipe.
  2. Finely chop the silverbeet, place in a large colander over a bowl and sprinkle evenly with the salt. Place a heavy weight on top – a large dinner plate topped with a few tins or jars works well – and leave for 1 hour to drain.
  3. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees (180 fan-forced). Grease the base and sides of a 25x25cm baking dish with a little olive oil and line the base with baking paper.
  4. Rinse the silverbeet thoroughly under running water, drain well and squeeze out as much as possible. Place in a large bowl, add the shallots, dill, mint, feta and eggs and mix well. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, keeping in mind that the feta is salty and the spinach has already been salted.
  5. Dampen a clean tea towel with water. Remove the filo from the packet, unroll carefully, cover with a large piece of baking paper and 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 tea towel.
  6. Working with one sheet at a time, lay 14 filo sheets into the prepared baking dish, brushing every second sheet with olive oil. Top with the silverbeet mixture, spreading it out evenly and pressing with the back of a spoon to pack it tightly. Top with the remaining filo sheets, brushing every second sheet with olive oil.
  7. Brush to top sheet liberally 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 dish.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top of the pie is golden brown and crisp. Stand for 5 minutes before serving. Cut the squares through to the bottom of the dish and use a spatula to carefully remove the pieces. Enjoy hot or at room temperature.

 

Here are some more Greek recipes to try:

Greek Cheesecake with Muscatels
Lamb with Greek Flavours
Greek Mezze Plate

This recipe is from my Taste of Greece cookbook.