As with cheese pies, there are many types of spinach pie - spanakopita - in Greece. We previously posted a recipe for one that was shaped like a coil - see here. This one is the more classical spinach pie and can be eaten as a side dish or is a very tasty and nutritious snack by it self. The recipe shows how you can make the filo pastry yourself - it's always tastier than the ready-made stuff.
For the dough
300g all purpose flour
40 ml olive oil
1 tablespoon ouzo
Lukewarm water – enough to make a pliable dough
For the filling
1 kg spinach
250g feta cheese
6 spring onions
1 bunch fennel – finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint – chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt – but taste first as feta cheese is salty
For the egg wash
1 egg well beaten with 200ml milk
Place all the dough ingredients in a bowl and knead well for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 6 balls of equal size.
Cover them with cling film and let them rest on a lightly floured surface for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
Finely chop the spring onions and put them in a pan with water.
Finely chop the spinach and add it.
Add the mint, fennel and a little salt.
Bring to the boil, stirring well.
Remove from the heat and put the mixture in a colander to drain well.
Press the mixture with a spoon in order to remove as much liquid as possible.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
Crumble the feta cheese and add it to the mixture along with the olive oil.
Stir and then set aside.
When the 1 hour has passed take 3 of the balls and, using a wooden rolling pin, open them into flat circles 15 cm in diameter.
Lightly brush the first ‘filo’ with olive oil and place the second one on top of it.
Lightly brush this one with olive oil and then place the third filo on top.
Sprinkle flour on top.
With a rolling pin open out the dough with the 3 filos until you have a large circle enough to fill a medium size oven dish and cover the edge.
Brush the oven dish with olive oil and place the dough in it, covering the edge.
Take another ball of dough and with a little flour and the use of the rolling pin, open it out into a circle which is the same size as the oven dish, but not including the edge.
Place this in the oven dish on top of the first layer.
Now spread the filling evenly on top of these layers.
Take another ball of dough and again open it out to the size of the oven dish.
Place it on top of the filling and brush with olive oil.
Take the final ball of dough and open it out to the size of the oven dish plus enough to cover the edge.
Place it on top of the others and join the extra at the edge with the edge from the bottom layer, using olive oil so that the edge of the whole pie is nicely sealed.
Brush the top of the pie with olive oil.
Lightly cut the whole pie into square portions, but without cutting down to the bottom.
Brush the pie with the egg wash.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius. For about 1 hour, until it has a nice golden brown colour.
Eat And Enjoy!