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Spinach, Wild Garlic and Filo Pie

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Wild garlic is great for adding a more subtle hint of garlic to dishes with delicate flavours and it grows abundantly in British woodland during the spring

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  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 250g butter
  • 300g feta cheese
  • 100g ricotta cheese
  • 50g parmesan or pecorino,
  • finely grated
  • 5 large eggs
  • 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 375g fresh filo pastry, not frozen (approx 14 30 x 38cm sheets)
  • 200g fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried well, tough stalks discarded, cut into 1cm strips
  • 150g wild garlic leaves, washed and dried well, tough stalks discarded and leaves cut into 1cm strips
  • 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Put the butter into a small pan and leave over a low heat until melted. Pour off the clear butter into a bowl, leaving behind the milky-white solids.

  2. Crumble the feta into a large bowl and coarsely mash it with a fork. Add the ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, oil, spring onions, 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and mix together well.

  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Lightly butter a 20 x 30cm roasting tin, 5cm deep. Unroll the filo pastry onto the work surface. Set aside 7 sheets for the top and cover with a damp tea towel to prevent them drying out. Working as quickly as you can, brush one pastry sheet with the melted butter and pop it buttered-side down to line the base and sides of the dish, leaving about 5cm of the edges overhanging. Repeat this process with another 6 pastry sheets.

  4. Add the shredded spinach and garlic leaves to the egg mix and stir together well. Spoon the mixture into the pastry-lined tin and spread it out evenly.

  5. Butter one of the reserved pastry sheets and lay it buttered-side down over the pie, pressing it down well onto the top of the mixture. Repeat with the remaining 6 sheets. Press the overhanging edges together then trim to within 2.5cm of the edge of the dish. Lift them up and tuck them down the sides of the pie.

  6. Using a sharp knife, mark the top of the pie into 8 pieces. Sprinkle with a little water and bake for 45 minutes until set in the middle, crisp and richly golden, covering loosely with foil if it starts to brown too quickly. Leave to cool for 15 minutes, then cut into pieces along the marked lines and serve.