Saturday, August 18, 2007

Spanakopita with green salad

I have a theory. Stay with me, it's a good one. Say you have a child. Or a pain in the elbow Uncle, who inconveniently pops around for dinner all the bloody time, but never is happy with what he is served. Do they like eating their greens? Nah, I didn't think so. I mean, when was the last time you saw a child sit down at the dinner table and declare "Oh, hip hip hooray - tonight we're having greens. Full of nutrients and so good for me! Thank you, kind parents!"

However, and this is the ever so slightly evil bit - if you hide the greens amongst all different sorts of cheese, then encase the whole thing in pastry, then the little suckers will be chomping it down with the best of them. Just don't let them know it's healthy! Or expect them to eat the side salad.

250g frozen spinach, thawed out and squeezed of moisture
1 bunch silverbeet or rainbow chard (same thing, yeah, just one has prettier stems)
4 spring onions, washed well and thinly sliced
handful chopped parsley
5 eggs, beaten well
250g ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
300g firm feta cheese, crumbled
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
20 sheets filo pastry, only just taken out from the freezer
100g butter, melted
Sesame seeds

1 - Preheat the oven to 190 C. Remove the stems from the silverbeet/chard, then roughly slice the leaves. Put into a bowl, cover with boiling water, then remove once they have wilted. Let the leaves cool, then mix with the spinach.

2 - Meanwhile, combine the beaten eggs, parmesan cheese, feta cheese, ricotta cheese, nutmeg, chilli, spring onions, parsley, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the silverbeet/spinach mixture, and mix until combined. Set aside.

3 - This is the bit where you have to work carefully and quickly. Oil a large baking dish with a little of the butter. Spread out the filo on a work bench, covering with a damp tea towel between bits. Carefully pick up a single piece of the filo, and place into the dish, gently molding it into place. Don't worry if bits are hanging off the side, we'll fix that up later. Brush the sheet of filo with butter, then place a new one on top of it. Brush it with butter, and repeat until you have layered 10 sheets.

4 - Gently pour in the silverbeet mixture. Spread it over the filo so it is even, then place a sheet of filo on top of it. Brush with butter and so on and so on until the remaining 10 sheets are placed on top.

5 - Tuck the overhanging bits into the dish, or trim, then score the pastry in a diamond pattern. Brush with butter, sprinkle over some sesame seeds, and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crinkly. Rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then slice up and serve.
Green salad

3 handfuls lettuce mix, washed well and dried
1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced into batons
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 - Mix the veggies into a bowl.
2 - Right before serving, combine the oil, vinegar and musard in a small bowl then pour over the salad. Toss, then serve.


  1. PM

    Just wanted to say thanks for the great recipes and shopping lists! I'm adjusting to being a sahm with no cooking skills...and your blog has now fed us five delicious meals! The spanakopita was especially fun for me - I felt like a real chef :) Thank you again from an Arizona, USA reader!

  2. Jen B, I'm glad to hear you like them!