I’m particularly fond of spinach and feta pie. Sad thing is, usually it’s eaten in the form of a takeaway pie from a 24-hour garage shop that only tastes decent because I’m feeling the effects of wine overindulgence. And even then it’s a compromise: you want a pie because it’s going to soak up all the alcohol, but you don’t want to eat the weird meat they use so you go with spinach and feta. At least that’s how my line of thought works at 3 am.
However, good home-made spinach and feta pie is a winner, far better than the take-out alternative, and added bonus is you’re unlikely to wake up the next day with crumbs all over yourself. The good folk at Mediterranean Delicacies sent me some phyllo pastry so it seemed like the natural thing to make. It’s a great winter dish that’s easy to cook for large numbers.
If you don’t want to make one large pie, you can also cut your phyllo into small squares and scrunch up to make little bite-sized spinach and feta parcels. A full pie just seemed more hearty though. Here’s the recipe.
- 1 roll phyllo pastry, thawed to room temperature
- 1 bag of spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped (should make about 3 handfuls once chopped)
- 200g Danish feta
- 200g mixed mushrooms, chopped
- 1 knob butter
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely diced
- 1 handful Italian parsley, chopped
- Salt & pepper to season
- Olive oil
- 1 bottle of red wine
- Open the wine and pour a glass; enjoy the taste while surveying your ingredients. A good wine should make you smile.
- Add a good swig of some olive oil to a wide saucepan on medium-high heat; add the onions when hot and saute for about 10 minutes.
- Add the butter, garlic, and the mushrooms and fry until mushrooms browned a little, about 15 minutes. Be sure to drink some wine while doing this to pass the time quicker.
- Add the spinach and stir into the onion, mushroom mix to soften; cook until spinach is softened through, then remove from heat and stir the Danish feta pieces into a saucepan.
- Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley and another swig of olive oil, and set aside. Reward yourself with a good swig of red wine.
- Unroll the phyllo pastry so it’s a stack of thin sheets, then brush each individual sheet with olive oil (the best method for this is to fold in half like a book, then brush as if turning the pages one by one).
- Place the phyllo stack into a roasting dish (wiped with some olive oil to prevent sticking), then add the mushroom, spinach, and feta mixture on top.
- Fold up the sides roughly so the center is partially open (to let a bit of air in), drizzle with a few bits of water (just splash with your fingertips) to moisten the top of the pastry, and place in the oven at 180′C for 45 minutes.
- Once removed, should be perfectly cooked, the pastry nicely browned on top. Cut into portions and serve with whatever wine is left in the bottle.