SPINACH, RI­COTTA AND FETA FILO PIE

QT Magazine - - FOOD -

SERVES 4 PREP TIME 30 MIN­UTES COOK­ING TIME 1 HOUR 5 MIN­UTES

This is a low-fat, rus­tic take on a tra­di­tional Greek spanako­pita, with ri­cotta re­plac­ing some of the feta and just one spritz of olive oil on the pie’s ruf­fled top in­stead of the quite un­nec­es­sary – though we’d have to ad­mit, quite de­li­cious – melted but­ter on ev­ery layer. Filo it­self is pretty healthy as pas­try goes, con­tain­ing only 3% fat as op­posed to up to 50% for puff pas­try, mak­ing it a per­fect Thin­ner Din­ner pie. MAKE AHEAD: The whole pie can be made 1 day ahead, wrapped in plas­tic wrap and re­frig­er­ated, be­fore bak­ing. It can also be frozen suc­cess­fully – de­frost be­fore spray­ing with oil and bak­ing as be­low.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

500g (1 lb 2 oz) frozen English spinach

2 tea­spoons olive oil

1 large brown onion, diced

1 tea­spoon salt

1 gar­lic clove, crushed

1 large hand­ful mint leaves plucked and chopped 1 large hand­ful pars­ley leaves plucked and chopped 1 small hand­ful dill, leaves plucked and chopped pinch of freshly grated nut­meg

1 large egg, beaten

150g (5 1⁄2 oz) good qual­ity feta cheese, diced

150g (5 1⁄2 oz) ri­cotta (low-fat if you pre­fer) olive oil spray

150g (5 1⁄2 oz/8 sheets) filo pas­try

TO SERVE

Greek Salad or a tomato salad

METHOD

Pre­heat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

De­frost the spinach in a colan­der. Squeeze out as much water as you can and set aside.

In a medium fry­ing pan over low heat, heat the oil and cook the onion with the salt gen­tly for about 10–15 min­utes, till sweet and soft but not brown. Add the gar­lic and cook for a fur­ther 2 min­utes. Re­move and set aside to cool.

In a large mix­ing bowl, stir to­gether the onion, gar­lic, spinach, herbs, nut­meg, egg, feta and ri­cotta. Feta’s salti­ness can vary hugely so taste the mix­ture for sea­son­ing and ad­just it to your taste.

Spray a 20cm (8 inch) spring-form cake tin with olive oil spray.

Lay 2 filo sheets hor­i­zon­tally across the cake tin, pat­ting them down into the tin. Take an­other 2 sheets and place them at a 90-de­gree an­gle across the first sheets. Turn the cake tin 45 de­grees and place an­other 2 sheets across, hor­i­zon­tally, and an­other 2 sheets at a 90-de­gree an­gle.

This all sounds very com­pli­cated and math­e­mat­i­cal but it’s very sim­ple – you should end up with the base of the tin cov­ered by filo, with ex­cess filo draped over the sides of the tin.

Spoon the pie fill­ing into the cen­tre and fold the filo over the top, as mess­ily or as neatly as you choose – messy cre­ates more brown ruf­fles.

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