A simple spanakopita-style spinach and feta filo pie is one of my favourite dishes on earth and something I constantly go back to. When the weather’s warm, I love usually serve it alongside a zingy tomato salad, as well as some fresh green leaves. But it’s just as good in winter, with some form of potato and some greens or a simple salad.
Feta & spinach filo pie
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
approx 60g butter
2 leeks or about 6 baby leeks (Approx 180-200g), washed and finely sliced
handful each of dill, mint and parsley (or a combination of two of them), finely chopped
200g feta, crumbled
couple pinches ground nutmeg
a pinch dried chilli (optional)
½ lemon, zest only
3 eggs, beaten
5 sheets filo pastry
handful of nigella and/or sesame seeds (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200/180 fan. Place a frying pan over a medium heat, then drizzle in some olive oil, followed by a knob of butter. Tip in the sliced leeks and a big pinch of salt and sweat them for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until soft.
- Meanwhile, fill the kettle to the max and bring it to the boil. Tip your spinach into a large colander and pour over the just boiled water to wilt it. Once wilted, pour over a bit of cold water so that it’s cool enough to handle, then use your hands to wring the moisture out of the spinach– you’ll probably need to do this in two batches unless you have a giant colander. Once a lot of the moisture has been squeezed out, place the spinach into a large mixing bowl.
- By this time, your leeks should be soft. Remove from the heat and tip into the bowl with the spinach, followed by the chopped herbs, crumbled feta, a couple of pinches of nutmeg, a pinch of chilli (if using), the zest of half a lemon and some salt and pepper. Beat three eggs in a bowl and reserve one tbsp of it in a ramekin or small bowl (this sounds weird but it’s great for making an extra crispy topping later). Tip the remaining beaten egg into the bowl with the spinach and feta mix and stir (or use your hands) to thoroughly combine.
- Melt some butter. Brush a 20cm pie dish with some olive oil, then lay a sheet of filo into it (keeping the rest of your filo sheets under a damp towel to stop them drying out). Brush the filo sheet with melted butter, then lay another sheet on top, overlapping each one over the sides of the dish in different places. Repeat this with all five filo sheets, making sure to brush them with melted butter between each layer.
- Tip your spinach and feta filling into the dish, then fold the overhanging filo sheets into the middle to enclose the filling. Now, you should have 1 tbsp of beaten egg and some melted butter leftover – mix these together and brush over the top of the pie. Sprinkle with nigella and sesame seeds, if using, then bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown.