Spanakopita maybe a bit of a mouthful. But when you realise that this is basically the Greek for (a very delicious) spinach pie, you realise why it's worth using its alternative name. I've just served it to my kids. "What's for tea, mum?" "Spanakopita, darling", "what's spanakopita?""It's that delicious herby cheese pie" "Oh yeah! I love spanakopita". Job done. Imagine how different that conversation would go if I had said spinach pie. Exactly.
Anyway, this is delicious, I love it, Mr McDonald loves it, and yes, even the children love it. Despite those 300g of spinach. It's because they are fried, yes fried, surely the only way to jazz up frozen spinach. And then tossed in chopped dill and mint - putting these two herbs together is a revelation to me (not to the Greeks though), then seasoned with 200g of crumbled feta. It's pretty quick to put together and is great for dinner. Here's a short film with all the details. Or just read below. Xx
1 packet filo pastry, they vary in gramme size, but they all tend to contain six sheets of pastry
300 g frozen spinach, defrosted and well drained
1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
3 tbsp finely chopped mint
3 tbsp finely chopped dill
200 g feta cheese, crumbled
70g butter, melted and allowed to cool
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C
Fry the spring onions in a large frying pan with about 3 tbsp of olive oil. Once they are translucent, add the spinach and season slightly with salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes or so.
Place the chopped herbs in a large bowl and add the crumbled feta, it doesn't have to be uniformly crumbled, it's a bit more interesting if it isn't. Season with pepper and stir the fried spinach in.
Grease an oven proof dish, I use a ceramic one, 45cm x 35cm with a mixture of melted butter and olive oil. I paint it on with a pastry brush. Then get a sheet of filo and place on the bottom of the dish, folding in any ends which may be too long. Paint with the butter/oil mix, and place the next sheet of pastry on top, do the same thing, and then place the third pastry sheet on top. Spre ad the spinach mix evenly over the pastry then place the remaining pastry sheets on top, using the same method of painting with butter/oil. Cut into portions.
Pop in the oven and bake for 50 minutes, until the top is golden brown.