This recipe is my version of the popular Greek dish, spanakopita (spinach and feta tart) created in the form of a spiral. Spanakopita is typically made with filo pastry, spinach, feta plus a number of other ingredients of individual choice. It can be made in a variety of forms such as a simple pie, individual parcels or a spiral depending on choice. My favourite is a spiral and it probably easier to make than you might think!
- 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 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.
Spanakopita spiral (Spinach and feta tart)
- 4 sheets filo pastry approx
- 1 leek
- 150 g fresh spinach
- 50 g fresh parsley
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon dill
- 200 g feta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
To prepare the filling
- Slice the leek and cook in a little olive oil until soft. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Allow to cool then squeeze any excess water out of the spinach and place in a large bowl.
- Chop the parsley and dill and add to the bowl. Add the lemon zest. Crumble the feta into the bowl and mix everything together.
- Add the egg and mix again.
To form the spiral
- Take a sheet of filo pastry and place on a pastry board. Place some of the filling in a thin line close to one edge. Brush the remainder of the filo with olive oil. Roll the pastry to form a "sausage" shape.
- Coil the first "sausage" in the centre of a 20cm (about 8") diameter non stick loose bottomed tin.
- Make further "sausages" until all the mixture is used up, continuing to form the spiral until the outer rim of the tin is reached.
- Lightly brush the top of the tart with olive oil and spinkle with sesame seeds.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, gas mark 4.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden. Turn around part way through the cooking time so that it bakes evenly.
- Serve hot.