Saturday, 28 November 2015

Spanakopita - a delicious summer evening dish

A simple, but tasty dish to serve when you have guests over is spanakopita. There are many variations for you to present it, but the coil is the most conventional. Nadia Lim who promotes 'good food' and who  is a NZ Masterchef winner and My Food Bag owner had a column in a recent NZ Herald, which I attempted.

What you'll need is:
2 chopped onions
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4  eggs - beaten
200 g feta - crumbed
1/3 cup pine cunts (lightly roasted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon  ground black pepepr
350 g frozen spinach (I used silverbeet from my garden)
12 sheets file pastry
50g melted butter
1-2 teaspoons sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 190 deg C.

Gently fry the onions, garlic and thyme and after 5 minutes add the sugar and balsamic. Fry for a further 5 minutes until caramelised.

Whisk eggs, salt pepper and feta and add roasted pine nuts. 

I lightly cooked the silverbeet and patted dry. If using frozen spinach you need to squeeze out the water using a clean tea towel. 

Chop spinach roughly and add to the egg mixture. 

The most fiddly bit is preparing the filo pastry.

On a clean, dry surface, lay a filo sheet, brush with melted butter and overlap the next sheet over the one edge and once again, brush with butter. Add a 3rd sheet alongside so you have a long, rectangular  buttered filo pastry sheet. Repeat twice, overlaying the first layer with 2 more buttered filo sheets.

Spread the egg and spinach mixture along the one long edge of the buttered sheet and gently roll up the sheet into a long sausage shape.

Carefully transfer the 'sausage' to a round buttered tin and create a spiral shape starting in the middle {which I didn't do ;)} and working around to the outside.

Brush the spiral with more butter or olive oil. Sprinkle sesame seeds if desired

Bake at 190 deg C for 20-25 minutes.

*Note In my recipe I used a width of  only two filo sheets, so the coil is a bit thicker.

Served with salads this is a lovely meal. A tip would be to not over-roast the pinenuts!

Enjoy - Claudia x

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