Spanakopita, Greek spinach pie

I bet you enjoy a slice of pie! It is probably the number one comfort food, with crunchy filo dough gently wrapping your filling of choice – the combinations are endless, pleasure unlimited! Pies enjoy a very special place amongst Greek cooking. They are the unsung heroes, always on the table, always discreet and extremely satisfying.

Preparation time
30 minutes
Cooking time
50 minutes
Serves
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 kg of spinach
  • 1 onion
  • 300 gr of feta cheese
  • a small bunch of dill
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt, try a bit of your feta, if it’s a strong barrel-aged feta you will not need salt at all
  • pinch of pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 gr of filo pastry

Spinach pie, the best of Greek pies!

Greek pies are interwoven in the fabric of traditional Greek cuisine. In older times, way before we entered our urban dwellings, pies were the centrepiece of the rural table. A pie would make the main meal of the day, complemented with a salad or cold cuts of preserved meat. As for the pie fillings, these were as plentiful as the imagination of the cook. Even in winter, with very few fresh produce available, resourceful cooks would retreat to pies for a delectable meal, combining ingredients, sometimes preserved, others grown in the backyard, very often foraged. Wild greens such as nettles, fennel or dandelions would make their way into pies, too, with excellent results.

In Northern Greece there is a tradition for sturdy meat pies, always baked in large round trays on wood fire. In Southern Greece, you come across small bite-sized pies, filled with salty cheese or delicious greens, fried as a quick treat, like the Cretan marathopitas. Pies are the ultimate comfort food, not just for the one enjoying a scrumptious piece, but also for the cook. You can make a pie up at no time with any ingredients you have at hand. Spinach pie, spanakopita in Greek, tends to be the most loved filling. Below, you can see the spinach pie recipe so you can enjoy at home:

How to cook

Spinach pie recipe (spanakopita)

  1. 1. Rinse your spinach thoroughly, blanch it, drain and let it cool. Once cooled squeeze any excess water out, chop coarsely and easy open the spinach leaves.
  2. 1. Chop the onion finely, brown in a pan and set aside.
  3. 2. In a large mixing bowl, place the prepared spinach, onions, chop in the dill, crumble the feta in small chunks and crack in the eggs.
  4. 3. Mix well and you are ready to transfer into the pastry.
  5. 4. Keep 3 filo sheets for the bottom, one or two for the middle and 3 for the top.
  6. 5. Brush your tray with olive oil, place the first sheet and repeat for the second.
  7. 6. Once you place the third filo on, it doesn’t need any olive oil. Place more of your spinach pie mix towards the edges so that you don’t get thick and empty crust.
  8. 7. It can have one or two middle layers, entirely up to you, just make sure you spread the filling evenly.
  9. 8. Brush the top three filo sheets with olive oil.
  10. 9. Cut through before baking at 180 oC in a preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden.