Spanakopita (spinach and feta tart) is a popular Greek dish. It is typically made with filo pastry, spinach, feta cheese, plus a number of other ingredients of individual choice. Here, I have also used leek, lemon zest, dill and plenty of parsley. Spanakopita can be made in many forms such as a simple pie, individual parcels or tartlets, but here I chose to create a spiralled tart.
- Approximately 4 sheets filo pastry
- 1 medium sized leek
- 150g spinach
- 50g chopped fresh parsley (2 to 3 handfuls approximately)
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- 200g feta cheese
- 1 medium sized egg
- A few sesame seeds
- Olive oil
How to make spanakopita (spinach and feta tart)
Slice the leeks and cook in olive oil until soft. Add the spinach leaves and stir until it has wilted. Allow to cool and then squeeze any excess liquid from the spinach/leek mixture.
Place the spinach and leeks in a large bowl. Add the chopped fresh parsley, dill and lemon zest. Break the feta cheese into small pieces and add to the remaining ingredients. Mix everything together. Add the egg and mix again.
Take a sheet of filo pastry and place on a pastry board. Place some of the filling in a line close to one edge of the filo sheet. Brush the remainder of the filo sheet with olive oil. Roll the pastry to form a sausage shape. You can use either the whole sheet of filo, or, just half the sheet.
When the first "sausage" is formed, lay in the centre of a 20cm loose bottomed tin to start the spiral shape.
Make further "sausages" until all the mixture is used up, continuing to form the spiral until the the outer rim of the tin is reached. Lightly brush the top of the tart with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Cook at gas mark 4, 180oC, 350oF for around 30 minutes. As temperatures vary from oven to oven it is a good idea to check regularly to avoid the pastry becoming overcooked or burnt. Turn the dish part way through the cooking time to ensure it is cooked evenly. For an Aga, place the dish on the grid shelf on the floor of the roasting oven and cook as above.
Serves 2 to 3 as a main course.
I find that spanakopita is at its best if eaten shortly after cooking, but it can be eaten cold or kept in the fridge overnight.
If you like filo pastry, you may also wish to try filo tart with roast vegetables and walnuts.