There's a meditative beauty to making spanakopita: gently sweating the onions and garlic until they become soft and sweet, squeezing the water from the spinach leaves so they're ready for the filling, then ensconcing the lot in delicate folds of filo pastry. We've included the recipe for making your own filo pastry if you so desire; otherwise, top-quality bought pastry will do just fine.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 900 gm spinach leaves
- 250 gm Greek feta, coarsely crumbled
- 1 bunch dill, coarsely chopped
- Finely grated rind and juice of ½ a lemon
- For brushing: butter, melted
- 1 quantity filo pastry, or 20 sheets filo pastry
- Olive and herb salad, to serve
- 1Preheat oven to 180C. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion and garlic, sauté until onion is tender (5-10 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl, set aside to cool.
- 2Meanwhile, blanch spinach in batches (10-20 seconds) and refresh. Drain well, squeezing excess moisture from spinach, coarsely chop and add to onion mixture with feta, dill, lemon rind and juice. Season to taste, mix to combine.
- 3Layer half the filo in the base and sides of a buttered 24cm-diameter, 4cm-deep metal pie dish, allowing pastry to overhang. Spoon in spinach mixture, fold in filo edges and loosely place remaining filo on top to cover. Brush pie with melted butter, bake until cooked through (1-1½ hours; cover loosely with foil if it starts to brown too quickly). Cool in dish for 5 minutes, then turn out, slice, and serve warm with a simple olive and herb salad.