After making my Fig, Honey & Walnut Tarts I still had a lot of Filo pastry left – and, from experience, I know that it does not really perform well after freezing so I had to finish it off. This recipe is my version of Spanakopita – my only real addition to this recipe is the mushrooms and I am sure that the Greek Goddess of the hearth and home, Hestia will forgive my liberty. I served this on Monday night – for our meat free Monday dinner with a simple salad. This is one of those dishes that improves overnight and we polished the rest off for lunch on Tuesday – it’s really improved and good the next day.
I am posting this today as I feel that this would make a perfect lunch time dish for tomorrows World Cup Cricket Final in Mumbai tomorrow – for fixture times and a whole lot of information click on this link sport24 .
I have a Greek sister-in-law Nitsa, who would cook this for special occasions with a similar dish called Tiropita – also a Filo pastry pie but with cheese as the star ingredient. I added the mushrooms to this one because Max loves them and is training and playing rugby again, but, my loslyf of a man child has a new girlfriend (I can’t keep up) so he didn’t make it home for dinner. He is living on love again!!!! Go Max!
Monique asked me what I was making – and when I said Spanakopita – her eyes went like saucers
“Spiders????” she cried!
How beautiful is my Royal Albert Art Deco plate circa.1935 …
Make a pie large enough to feed 8
2 large packets of baby spinach washed well
Garlic – chop up 12 cloves – be brave!
2 large onions finely sliced
250g Ricotta cheese
2 rounds of plain feta cheese
1/2 cup of pecorino cheese
100g melted butter
8 sheets of filo pastry
1tsp grated nutmeg
4Tbsp of chopped fresh Mint
500g mushrooms chop them as you like them either finely or sliced
In a medium sized pot – heat up some olive oil and fry half of the garlic until lightly coloured.
Add the mushrooms, some salt and pepper and cook until all of the water has evaporated and they are nicely browned. Remove them from the pan to a large bowl – one that is large enough to fit all of your ingredients in. I used a large glass mixing bowl.
In the same pan – fry the thinly sliced onions in a little olive oil on a gentle heat until soft and translucent – add to the mushrooms in the large bowl.
In the same pot add the spinach handful by handful with half a cup of water – once it’s all in the pot put the led on tightly and steam them until soft. Pour out into a colander and, using a saucer or side plate, squeeze out all of the excess water and add it to the glass bowl with the mushrooms & onions.
Now add the ricotta and feta cheese with plenty of black pepper, 1tsp grated nutmeg, 4Tbsp of chopped fresh Mint half a cup of pecorino cheese and 3 lightly beaten eggs and give it a really good mix.
Taste the mixture and add more salt if you like – i only added about half a tsp of salt
because the pecorino and feta are quite salty.
Now to assemble the pie:
Butter the bottom of your oven proof dish
Brush a sheet of filo pastry with the melted butter and lay into the dish with the side overlapping
Add three more layers – brushing each layer with the melted butter.
Now pour in your spinach and mushroom filling.
Flatten it down with a spoon and bring up the overlapping sides of filo pastry.
Brush a sheet of filo pastry with the melted butter and lay it scrumpled up like a piece of paper on top and repeat this three times.
Brush the top with melted butter and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200d for approximately 30 minutes – just keep your eyes on it!
Serve with a nice fresh side salad and glass of dry white wine!
Have a wonderful weekend – I cannot wait to see the World Cup Cricket Final tomorrow
it’s gonna be a humdinger!! This would be great for lunch whilst watching the final.