Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spinach and feta pie - recipe

I'm a big pie fan.  Ask any of my family and they'll tell you that the best pies of all time came from Darwin market (Lancashire).  Darwin is where my Gran and Grandpa lived - and where my Dad grew up.  Whenever we went to visit, there was always a trip to Darwin market to stock up on pies: steak pies, minced meat pies, apple pies and wimberry pies.  Our freezer was always full of pies.

My favourite was the wimberry pie.  As far as I can tell, wimberries are a Northern thing.  They're pretty similar to a blueberry but much juicier and more flavoursome.  I might try making a pie with blueberries to see how it measures up.

I thought a spinach and feta pie would be a nice summery choice for a weeknight tea - I remember eating something similar on holiday in Greece.  I was really pleased with how it turned out - totally delish served with a tomato salad and some buttered jersey royals.

Writing this post is proving difficult, as I've got a sleepy kitten climbing all over me and demanding attention!

1 red onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
1 bag of fresh spinach leaves (250g), washed and drained
Half a nutmeg nut finely grated, or a teaspoon of dried nutmeg
1 pack of feta cheese (200g)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons of pine nuts, lightly toasted
6 sheets shop-bought pre-rolled filo pastry (I used Jus Rol, from the fridge section.  You can also buy it frozen but make sure it's fully defrosted before use)

Turn the oven on to 180c

Gently fry the onions in a little butter or oil until soft and cooked through but not browned.  Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, being careful not to overcook it.

Over a very low heat, add the spinach to the onions and garlic and cook until wilted.  It helps to keep turning the spinach, to make sure it cooks evenly.

Tip into a bowl, draining off excess liquid.  Leave to cool for a few minutes, then add the nutmeg, eggs, toasted pine nuts and crumble in the feta.  Mix well.

Butter a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

Layer approximately 6 sheets of filo pastry, with plenty overhanging the tin.  Lightly brush each sheet with butter as you go.

Tip the spinach mix in and scrunch over the excess pastry.  If the pastry doesn't quite cover the spinach mix, use another sheet of filo to fill any gaps.

Brush the top with a little more butter and pop into the oven.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and golden.


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