Friday, 12 January 2007


We have a veggie patch in the back garden that is in a really inconvenient place! So we're planning on digging it over and turning it into a sandpit for the kids - and make a new veggie patch at the edge of the garden rather than slap bang in the middle of the lawn. Anyway (bear with me - there's a point to this, honestly!) we have a huge amont of silver beet that the previous occupant kindly planted. MacMan isn't overly keen on spinachy type things, but it would be criminal not to use these fresh organic veggies. So organic that they've been watered courtesy of the rain, and that's it. No additive or effort on my part at all.
I got a copy of the current issue of Taste today, just to drag myself away from Tana Ramsay for a minute. They had a Greek feature, which included a recipe for Spanakopita which uses spinach or silver beet. Perfect!

Serves 6

4 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely sliced
1.5 fresh spinach or silver beet
1/4 cup parsley
300g course textured feta cheese, crumbled
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tbsp melted butter
350g packet filo pastry (I used puff pastry instead as we already had some in the freezer)
2 tbsp sesame seeds
Handful pinenuts - additional option a la Cherrypie
  • Saute the chopped onionin the olive oil in a frying pan or saucepan.
  • Wash spinach or silver beet thoroughly. If using sliver beet, chop stalks out. Place in a pan on the stove and cook down gently. Note - the recipe said to use a pan quarter full of boiling water. But there's no need to do this with spinach type veg. There is so much water in the veg anyway, and the veg will be wet from the washing. My mum taught me this, and it stops the spinach going soggy. It also means you won't have to faff with draining and squeezing out excess water later.
  • In a large bowl place the parsley, crumbled feta, eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix together with a fork. Add the spinach and onion, and mix well.
  • Brush a metal baking tray with melted butter. Line the tin by laying filo pastry in 8 layers, brushing melted butter inbetween each layer. Altneratively, the easy Cherrypie version is to use a single layer of ready rolled puff pastry!
  • Spoon the spinach mixture inside the pastry lined tin. Press down well and into the corners.
  • Top off with 8 layers of filo, again brushing with melted butter. Or a layer of puff pastry.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds (I didn't bother with the sesame seeds).
  • Bake in preheated oven at 190C for 40 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
This was really delicious. I actually baked using half quantities - and there was more than enough for two adults and two kids. I won't say that MacMan raved about it, but he did clean his plate so it can't have been too bad. Twirly Boy raved about it - which is lovely for something that has so much green veg. The Princess gave it a good go too, which at the moment is a huge bonus as she's not eating much at all.

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