This Greek spinach pie makes a great meat-free option. Serve as a main dish, an accompaniment, or as finger food.
Spanakopita traditionally includes spinach, we’ve added a bit of watercress for a peppery kick but feel free to use all spinach or some rocket instead.
There’s so much spinach in each slice, which is great as it’s a brilliant source of iron, vitamin C and one of the best plant sources of vitamin K – important for bone health. Feta cheese is a traditional Greek ingredient and a key part of a spanakopita – it holds its shape well when baked so gives a lovely texture. Feta is also high in calcium and B12 and contains less fat than Cheddar and other hard cheeses.
We’ve made our spanakopita in a round shallow casserole dish but it can also be made in a roasting tin and cut in to squares – large or small – depending on the occasion.
- 520g spinach
- 80g watercress
- 200g feta cheese
- 4 shallots
- 2 large eggs
- small handful dill, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1⁄2tsp nutmeg
- 12 sheets filo pastry
- 75g butter, melted
- 50g Parmesan, grated
- 2tbsp sesame seeds
- You will need:
- 30cm shallow casserole dish or medium roasting tin, buttered
Heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Put the spinach and watercress in a microwaveable bowl with 3tbsp water and microwave until the spinach has wilted. Remove and drain, then squeeze out as much liquid as possible, using the back of a spoon. Transfer the mix to a tea towel and remove any excess water. Then put in a large bowl and stir in the feta, shallots, eggs, dill, garlic, lemon zest and nutmeg, plus salt and pepper.
Lay a sheet of filo pastry on top of the buttered dish, butter and lay another sheet on top. Repeat until you have 6 sheets of filo on the base.Spread the filling over the filo, leaving a 0.5cm gap around the edge. Lay a sheet of pastry on top, brush with butter and sprinkle with 1tbsp grated Parmesan. Lay another sheet of filo on top and repeat the process until you have 6 stacked sheets of filo. Using the palm of your hand, press down the layers. With a knife, score through the top 3 layers of filo pastry into 8 slices. Brush with butter and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Bake for 20-25 mins, or until golden.
Top Tip for making Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie)
You could also use chopped frozen spinach, just make sure it’s well thawed and as much liquid is removed as possible