Wednesday, April 29, 2015

More Spinach

You will have read Em's yummy spinach pie post and you will have surely tried it out for yourself.

On my cooking extravaganza on the weekend I also bought all the ingredients for Spanakopita. However, as the end of the day loomed and I was surrounded by pots and pans from all the rest of my cooking I just couldn't bring myself to do more chopping, sautéing or pan washing.

Hellooo SBS Food Safari. Seriously a top show. We all love to watch it - boys included, and I remembered that there had been an episode aired recently with a simpler version of the spanakopita that didn't involve any of the above cooking prep. I also googled if I could freeze it as I didn't want it right away. Advice from all over the inter webs is to freeze before here 'tis (thanks SBS):


1 bunch
 spinach or silverbeet
(½ cup) finely grated hard cheese such as kefalograviera, parmesan or pecorino
2 tbsp 
dry breadcrumbs
¼ tsp
 ground nutmeg
½ tsp
 freshly ground black pepper
(¼ cup) olive oil 
 dill sprigs, chopped
 spring onions, chopped
 fresh (not frozen) filo pastry
 butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Trim the roots from the spinach or if using silverbeet, cut out the stems. Wash leaves and drain well. Coarsely shred and set aside.
Place the feta in a large bowl and roughly mash with a fork. Add the ricotta, hard cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, pepper, oil, dill and spring onions. Mix with the fork to combine. Place the spinach or silverbeet on top and mix lightly with your hands.
Lightly oil or butter a 20 cm x 30 cm x 5 cm baking dish. Lay the filo out on a work surface. Line the dish with a sheet of filo and brush it with butter. Top with another sheet of filo brushed with butter and continue until about half the filo is used. When not using the filo, cover it with a dry tea towel and then a damp one to keep it from drying out.
Use your hand or a large metal spoon to gently mix the spinach filling until thoroughly combined. Tip into the filo base and spread out evenly. Layer with the remaining sheets of filo brushed with butter, ensuring the final sheet is well buttered. Trim off any overhanging pastry and tuck in the sides.
Use a sharp knife to score the pastry into diamonds. Pierce the pastry once or twice to allow air to escape during baking (this is where I covered with several layers of cling wrap and popped in the freezer). Sprinkle lightly with water and bake in the oven for 45–60 minutes or until well browned. Gently shake the baking dish; the spanakopita should slide easily when it is cooked. Cover with foil if it is over-browning. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before serving.



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