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Spanakopita - Em's Food For Friends

Spanakopita

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At this time of year I always have an abundance of Silverbeet growing in the garden.  It is the one thing I can’t kill!  This is my favourite way to use it.  Combined with the unmistakable flavours of Greece……dill, fetta, lemon and nutmeg, it makes a sensational summer meal or a fabulous side with a marinated leg of lamb and a classic greek salad.

 

Prep time:  30 minutes             Cooking time:     50 minutes          $  Low Budget

 

Serves 8-10

 

1 bunch of silverbeet

300g of greek style fetta cheese, crumbled

100gm of ricotta

2/3 cup of finely grated parmesan

Grated rind of 1 lemon

5 eggs

1/2 cup of dry breadcrumbs

A good pinch of nutmeg

3 tbs of finely chopped dill

3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil

4 spring onions, finely sliced

12 sheets of fresh filo pastry

125gm of unsalted butter, melted

Sea salt and cracked pepper

 

To prepare the silverbeet, run your knife down each stalk on both sides so you are left with 2 leafy pieces.  Discard the stalks (or you can fry them up with a little olive oil and garlic…..yum!)   and wash the leaves thoroughly.  Shake off any excess water and roll the leaves up in tight little bundles.  Cut 1/2cm ribbons from the leaves and either spin in a salad spinner or pat dry with a tea towel.  You want the silverbeet to be nice and dry so it doesn’t make the pastry soggy.

 

In a large mixing bowl combine the crumbled fetta, ricotta, parmesan, lemon rind, nutmeg, eggs, spring onions, bread crumbs and olive oil, season with a little salt and a good sprinkling of cracked pepper and mix with a large spoon to combine.  Place the silverbeet in the bowl and use your hands to combine the mixture thoroughly.  It will look like a lot but the silverbeet shrinks right down when cooked.

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C and brush a little melted butter on the bottom of a large rectangular baking dish.  Lay the filo out on a board and brush the top sheet with melted butter.  Carefully lay it in the dish and repeat with 5 more layers.  Scoop the silverbeet mixture onto the filo and press down with your hands ensuring it is firmly and evenly packed into the dish.  Brush another sheet of filo with butter and place it on top of the silverbeet mixture.  Repeat with the remaining filo sheets and tuck all the edges in nice and tight.  Use a really sharp knife to slice through the pie in diamond shapes and sprinkle the top with a little water.  Bake in the oven for approximately 50 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on top.  Serve immediately…..

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