Spankopita is a traditional Greek dish that is made from cheeses and spinach, encased in a delicate filo pastry.
- 300g feta cheese, crumbled
- 200g ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 250g butter, melted
- 375g pkt fresh filo pastry
- 250g English spinach leaves, shredded
- 2 sprigs dill, finely chopped
- 4 shallots, sliced
In a bowl, combine the feta, parmesan and ricotta cheeses with the eggs, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, olive oil and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Unwrap the filo pastry and keep half under a damp tea towel to keep moist.
Brush baking dish with butter and then begin to construct the base. Brush the one sheet of filo with butter and lay in the baking dish. Continue doing this until you have used half of the sheets.
Stir the spinach, dill and shallots into the ricotta mixture and place on top of the pastry. Smooth out evenly with a spoon.
To make the top, butter each sheet of the remaining filo and place on top of the filling. Make sure that the top layer is well buttered.
Using kitchen scissors, trim the excess pastry from around the baking dish. Then tuck the rest of the overhang down the insides of the dish.
Score the top into portions (diamond or rectangle shaped) and then poke it 5-6 times at regular intervals with a knife so the steam can escape from under the pastry.
Sprinkle lightly with water and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until well browned. Leave to cool for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.
- You will be able to find filo pastry in the chiller section, close to the fresh pasta.
- A fast alternative to brushing each sheet with butter is spraying them all with canola oil.
- Resist the urge to put any salt in this dish. The feta is very salty.
- Keeping the filo moist is essential and making sure it is well buttered between layers ensures a better pastry crust.
- This recipe was created by Jennifer Cheung for Kidspot, New Zealand's best recipe finder.