This is a real winner with kids – watching Popeye to encourage spinach intake (in any language – our kids love it in Greek) beforehand helps also – as does feeling their biceps before and after the meal!
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (for oiling the pan and the pastry layers)
- 1-2 large onions
- 2 leeks
- Teaspoon of crushed garlic
- Packet of Filo pastry (actually only eight pieces of filo -this is available in whole meal in some countries’ health food stores)
- 1/2 cup Pine nuts or chopped almonds for crunch
- Two to three eggs depends on the size you want and the moisture- this binds the pie
- 1/2 kilo of feta cheese
- 1/2 kilo of ricotta cheese (you can just use one of the cheeses according to taste and what you have) NOTE – the cheese can be changed to tofu for a dairy free meal
- Washed and chopped (1/2 cm slices, no need to dice) spinach as much as you can fit in the pot. I usually start with about 2/3 of a shopping plastic bag full of unwashed chopped spinach. (If you use frozen spinach let it thaw and drain some of the water off first or consider it in your water levels of cooking)
- Pepper to taste
- Parmesan or sesame seeds or poppy seeds for garnishing the top of the pie, along with a dash of milk to help it brown
For serving, available on plates in the middle of the table:
- Homemade tzatziki (see previous recipe)
- Olives (on the table)
- A plate of cut cucumbers, red and yellow tomatoes adds colour
- Eggplant chips (ideas to come)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Cut up onions leek and garlic in a pot with 2+ Tbs of olive oil (we use more but olive oil is used very freely in Greece) cook until translucent
- In a large bowl crumble the feta and ricotta, mix in the eggs, nuts and onion mix
- Place the washed, chopped spinach in the same pan you cooked the onions, put a lid on and let it steam/cook down (about 5 minutes)
- Mix the cooked spinach into the cheese, onion and egg mix. Add pepper
- Using a pastry brush cover a large baking dish with olive oil. Use olive oil and the pastry brish to cover an entire sheet of filo. Place a second piece on top of the first and place these two layers on the base of the pan coming, up the sides. Then fold another piece of filo in half basting the inside of the fold with olive oil. Repeat this with a fourth piece of filo.
- Now add the entire contents of the cheese, eggs and spinach mix. The top of the pita is a repeat of the bottom, folding in the edges of the filo with the sides from the base sheets. Remember to baste each sheet of filo with oil. Tuck in all the loose edges of filo.
- Top the pie with a baste of milk or soy milk, and topping of your choice ie/ Parmesan, poppy seeds, sesame seeds etc
- Cook in a moderate oven about 180 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the top turns golden.
- Serve hot on a plate with above selection of garnishes. Can also be enjoyed cold like a quiche.