Monday, 15 July 2013

Spinach, feta & Stilton tartlets (spanakopitakia)



Spanakopita (spinach pie) is a classic Greek recipe that is popular around the world. It was certainly popular in my family - my mother's spanakopita (with homemade phyllo) is the stuff of legend. So naturally I asked for her recipe but in typical Greek fashion the recipe consisted 'throw some of this in and add dollops of that'. I have tried to clarify the quantities here, but feel free to play around. Cream cheese or ricotta can be used instead of Stilton which will result in a much creamier (but bit blander) pie.

The addition of blue cheese is a twist that would surely be frowned upon by purists, but works really well. I opted to make mini tartlets so technically these should be called spanakopitakia

Ingredients
600g | about 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
200g feta cheese, crumbled |8 oz
200 Stilton (or other blue cheese), crumbled |8 oz
2 eggs
1 bunch fresh dill, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
6 spring onions, chopped
2 leeks (white part only), chopped
1 pack phyllo pastry - 12 sheets (thawed if frozen)
A handful of toasted pine nuts (optional)
Olive oil for brushing 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Micro rocket to garnish (optional)

First thaw the spinach according to pack instructions and put in a sieve to drain. Then squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the spinach. Go back and squeeze some more - any excess moisture will make your tartlets soggy! (You can use fresh spinach if you like - chop and wilt it first). 

Sauté the green onions, leeks and dill in a pan with a splash of olive oil until soft. Put in a large bowl and add the spinach. Mix together and let cool. Add the crumbled cheeses, pine nuts if using, and the eggs and mix together thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 200C | 375. F Brush a muffin tin with olive oil. Put some olive oil in a bowl - you will use this for brushing over the phyllo. Open your phyllo pack and place 4 sheets on your work surface. Keep rest of phyllo covered with a damp tea towel as it can dry very quickly.

Cut in four using a pizza wheel. Cut again if necessary to form 13cm/5inch squares. Lightly brush each sheet with olive oil and place 4 squares on top of one another (oiled side up) at an angle to create a sort of star shape. Press them into the holes of the muffin tin and spoon some filling into each phyllo case, packing it down with your fingers.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, loosely covering with foil if the phyllo is colouring too quickly.

Cool before serving. I topped these with some homegrown micro-leaf rocket.

I am submitting the recipe into this month’s No waste food challenge, organised by Kate from Turquoise LemonsThis month’s challenge is “freezer stash” and is hosted by Elizabeth’s KitchenThank you for inspiring me to use that enormous bag of frozen spinach that was taking up so much freezer space! 




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5 comments:

  1. So glad you found such a delicious and gorgeous use for your frozen spinach! These spanakopitakia look fabulous!! Thank you for sharing your recipe with the No Waste Food Challenge. :)

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  2. this looks beautiful and I want to try this version of spanikopita - I spoke to a friend about a bread recipe yesterday and she was a bit of this and just put in some of this til it feels right - it works between friends to explain recipes but not on the web - glad you clarified the amounts for people like me

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  3. Made a full-sized version of this for dinner. Worked really well and tasted great - thanks for sharing!

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  4. I am not vegetarian but love vegetarian food, especially feta cheese and spinach tarts, pies and quiches - the duo go lovely together!

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