I had an obscene amount of silverbeet that was getting to the overgrown stage. And ricotta was half price at my local. So spanakopita it was! This recipe is an adapted version from Tess Mallos – The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook.
To fit a 25cm x 35 cm rectangular dish
850 g of spinach (and/or silverbeet). Washed, stems removed and roughly chopped.
125 ml olive oil
2 small brown onions
8 spring onions (I had some French shallots in the garden. Have used twice now and tastes great. 8-10 of these)
75g parsley. Chopped.
30g dill. Chopped.
30 g mint. Chopped.
½-1 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
500g ricotta cheese
230g fetta. Roughly crumbled. Try to keep some largish pieces to add tasty chunks of fetta when you’re eating later.
80g parmesan. Grated.
4 eggs. Lightly beaten.
Salt and pepper to taste
100 g melted butter. For brushing.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Place spinach and/or silverbeet in a large pot over medium heat. Cover for about 8-10 minutes. Use a spoon to toss around every so often. Once wilted remove and leave to drain in a colander.
Heat oil in fry pan. Add the brown onion and fry on low for 10 minutes. Add the spring onions or shallots and cook for another 5 or until all is translucent.
Transfer this to a large mixing bowl and add the greens, herbs, nutmeg, cheeses and eggs. Stir to combine.
Taste for salt and pepper and add as necessary.
Melt butter on the stove.
Brush the 25×35 cm rectangular dish with some of the butter. Line with sheets of filo. Add butter between every 1-2 layers. You don’t need to be too precious with the filo, if it breaks, it breaks. Just make sure there are no gaps and butter in between.
Stop layering once you have about 6-8 layers of filo. Add the filling.
Fold the overhang filo over the filling. Add 3-4 layers on top, brushing each layer with butter. Tuck the filo into the sides to make it look neater.
Brush the top lightly with butter. Sprinkle a little cold water on top to prevent the pastry from curling.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden brown. It ends up being about 70 minutes in my oven!
Leave for 5 minutes. Portion for serving.
If you wish to freeze, allow to cool and cut portions. These portions can be wrapped in a layer of baking paper and then alfoil. The baking paper stops the spanakopita from becoming soggy when reheating from frozen in the oven. It takes about 40-60 minutes to fully reheat in the oven from frozen (at 180 degrees Celsius).In the last 10-20 minutes to crisp the top and bottom, open the parcels up, and take the spanakopedia pieces out to sit on your oven shelf. Heating a pre-made spanakopita during the working week makes for an easy and satisfying working week dinner with barely any dishes!