I adore making pastry: it is up there on an equal footing for me with bread. Filo, however, is the pastry I find challenging: while I can make it, I just don’t seem to have enough hands to get full stretching without tearing, so it sometimes becomes a frustrating affair. But it is nonetheless fun to make.
I made this recent batch of filo into a version of Spanakopita. I sometimes find myself disappointed with Spanakopita when eating out as the Feta is too dominant, resulting in a claggy, overly salty filling. So I added a few extras such as toasted pine nuts and some slightly caramelised onions to give a touch of sweetness to balance the saltiness of the Feta.
The caramelised onions and other additions might not be classic but they do, I think, make a lovely dish!
I didn’t measure out the ingredients; I just mixed the following together:
- wilted and squeezed/well drained spinach
- some Feta cheese
- a beaten egg
- a little grated Parmesan
- just a touch of finely chopped fresh rosemary that had been sautéed in olive oil
- some grated lemon zest
- the cooled caramelised onions
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- a generous handful of the toasted pine nuts
- freshly ground black pepper
For the filo, I rolled it out and stretched it thinly and cut into 4 large rectangles with melted butter brushed liberally on each. I stacked the filo on top to create 4 layers.
The mixture was spread thinly over the filo before being rolled up and coiled, Cumberland sausage-style. It was then brushed with egg wash and sprinkled with grated Parmesan and poppy seeds.
I baked the Spanakopita at 170C (fan) for just over 35 minutes until golden brown and wonderfully crispy. It worked well with a green salad tossed in a lemony dressing.