Recently, we were invited over for dinner at a friends’ house. My friend asked me if I could bring something vegetarian as she had also invited some people who didn’t eat meat. I immediately thought of my Spanakopita, an old time family favorite. This Greek vegetable pie is easy to prepare ahead and even carnivores love it. Traditionally it’s made with spinach, but I like to make it with a mix of leafy greens, like spinach, kale, and chard. For a more pungent taste you even can add dandelion. But of course, with just spinach it’s also a delicious pie.
Note: If you want you can prepare the Spanakopita ahead and reheat it in the oven before serving.
Action time: 30 minutes + about 35 minutes oven time
21 oz/600 g leafy greens, such as spinach, baby kale and chard
1 tbsp olive oil, plus 3-4 tbsp extra for brushing
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
a small bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
9 oz/250 g feta, crumbled
8 oz/225 g frozen filo pastry sheets, thawed
1-2 tsp sesame seeds or poppy seeds
Extra: rectangular oven dish (about 9 x 13 inch/22 x 33 cm), greased
1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Wash, dry, and coarsely chop the greens. Heat the oil in a wok or large saute pan and cook the onions and garlic for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add some of the greens and cook until they start to wilt, add the rest a few handfuls at a time. Cook until all the greens are wilted. With a slotted spoon, transfer the greens to a colander and drain.
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with some salt and pepper. Add the dill and feta and mix in the greens.
3. With a pastry brush, lightly coat one side of half of the filo sheets and spread on top of each other on the bottom of the oven dish. Spoon the filling over the filo sheets. Lightly brush the rest of the filo sheets and put on top of the filling; push the edges of the filo down around the sides of the dish.
4. Score the top sheets with a sharp knife into squares. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Bake the spanakopita until the top is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes, then cut into squares and serve with a salad.