Spanakopita is one of the top five most famous Greek dishes worldwide, among the Greek salad, mousakka, souvlaki and tzatziki.
Spanakopita seems complex but really is derived from two simple words, that’s spinach and pitta, which means pie so in English Spanakopita translates into a simple spinach pie. But since Greeks do everything with so much passion, how can a spinach pie be as simple as it sounds!!! Spanakopita has at least two types of onions, like red onion and fresh green onions, herbs like dill, at least a tonne of pure Greek olive oil – personally I am a huge fan of Kalamata olive oil – and two tonnes of Fetta cheese. And then there is the pastry, called phyllo or filo.
Spanakopita is a savory pastry eaten with golden crispy filo throughout the Greek islands or with more dough and less spinach throughout the countryside.It is served directly from the oven because it tastes so much better when the phyllo is crispy golden and the smells surrounding you are so much stronger.
I believe one of the greatest pleasures for cooking this pie are those smells that surround you from moment one until the very end, when your kitchen is filled with colors and memories.
A tip from me to all of you is that the first time you attempt to make this delicious pie it might take you quite a bit of time but since practice makes perfect by the third time you will be preparing it will take you 1/3 of the time.
Serve your pie as a snack, as breakfast or lunch; serve it plain, with coffee, soft drink or fresh orange juice and if you wish with a touch of green salad.
- Serves: 4-6
- Level of difficulty 4/5
- Calories per portion: 260 – 330 kcal
- Fat: 6g
- Protein: 7g
- One big glass of Kalamata pure olive oil
- 1 kg of cooked spinach (that’s usually 2 kg uncooked)
- 500 gm of feta cheese in chunky hand-cut pieces
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 3-4 string onions (green part included) finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of fresh mint finely chopped
- 1 bunch of dill – finely chopped
- 1 packet of pastry pfyllo
- 4 eggs
- ¼ of glass cold milk
- Pepper (optional)
Wash your spinach and set aside.
Preheat oven at 180 degrees.
Pour in about 1/3 of your olive oil in a big pan. When hot pour in the onions and shallow fry for five minutes.
Put your pan aside and boil water in a big casserole. Once the water is really hot, sink in your spinach and boil until soft. Drain the spinach so well that there is no excess water dripping from it. Cut the drained spinach in chunky pieces and add in your onions.
Throw in the mint and dill and cook for ten more minutes while stirring well – but be careful so as you do not melt the spinach.
Put the pan aside and leave it to cool for five minutes.
Then pour in the mixture the chunky hand-cut fetta cheese and stir again, this time on fire. Stir for five minutes and then pour in the 3 eggs that you have already beaten in a small bowl. Stir well until the ingredients have formed a complete mixture.
Bring the pan at the table where you have already placed a medium size rectangular ruck, the glass with the oil and a brush and of course the now unfrozen phyllo.
Open your phyllo and put aside.
Using your brush, oil the ruck and use one double sheet of phyllo for the bottom.
Then oil the phyllo and put on more phyllo on top.
Repeat the procedure until you have used half of your phyllo.
Pure in the spinach mixture and spread well from one side to the other.
Put a phyllo on top and oil it. Then put another phyllo and repeat the procedure until you use the last phyllo.
DO NOT OIL THE TOP PHYLLO.
Once done, put the ruck with the spinach in the fridge for ten minutes.
Remove and cut diagonally creating even rhombus.
In a small pot break the egg and pure in the milk and stir well.
Using your brush rub the top of your spinach pie well.
Place the pie in the oven and cook with hot air for less than 25 minutes.
Then turn the heat for the bottom for 10 minutes and the heat for top for another 10 minutes but be extra careful you don’t burn the top! it needs look golden crispy.