Sunday was mother’s day. I spent the day cooking food for my friends and family. I love it when my house is full of people that I love, just hanging out, eating good food and generally yapping about everything under the sun. I take after my Father. He loved it when our entire family was under one roof.
So I decided to make Spanakopita, a gorgeous Greek delicacy. Filo pastry layered with spinach, onions and cheese. As a variation, I added mushrooms too. Sounds interesting?! Here’s how I made it. Go ahead, try it out. It’s not as scary and complicated as the name itself.
Here’s what you need:
1 packet of filo pastry
2 big Bunches of fresh spinach (you can use frozen as well)
2 heaped spoonfuls of garlic
1 packet of chopped mushrooms (cremini or button works well)
1 big white onion finely chopped
150 g of Feta cheese
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Olive oil to cook the spinach and mushrooms
More olive oil for layering
Step 1- Preheat the oven at 175°
Step 2- Wash and chop the spinach real thin. Wash and chop mushrooms and set aside
Step 3- make sure you drain all the excess water from the spinach, else when you later it, your pastry will get soggy.
Step 4- Heat a big pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and watch it sizzle away to glory. The best smell and sight in the kitchen,is this one, right here!
Step 5- Once the garlic has browned a little, add finely chopped onion and caramelize them.
Step 6- Add mushrooms once the onions have cooked. Let the mushrooms sweat and release all the water. Keep frying till they become brown.
Step 7- Add spinach at this stage and fry till all the water evaporates. Add chilli flakes and a little bit of salt. The cheese will be salty, so a little salt should be enough. Once everything is cooked and dry, remove from heat and let it cool down. Having the Aircon on for 15 minutes really helped all 3 of us cool down. Spinach, mushrooms and Me. 😂
Step 8- Once the spinach mushroom filling cools down, crumble the feta cheese and mix it well. Set aside for now. It should look like this 👇
Step 9- Get a slightly damp muslin cloth and spread the filo pastry. You need to work quickly from this stage on, else the pastry will become dry and tear.
Step 10- Get your olive oil in a bowl and brush ready coz they are your most wanted tools right now. Remember, speed is the need.
Step 11- Oil up your baking tray. Lay out 2 sheets of filo pastry and brush the top with olive oil. Keep repeating this process till you finish layering about 2/3rds of pastry
Step 12- Spread the spinach mushroom mix and start layering the pastry. If you have more filling left, make another layer.
Step 13- The final step is very important. Layer the Filo pastry and brush the top most sheet with oil. Make sure you tuck in the excess (if any) pastry.
Step 14- At 175° bake for 60 minutes. Once it’s done, cool it down for 10 minutes, cut into squares and serve with a salad of your choice.
Although I enjoy cooking everyday, it’s special occasions like these when I feel all the effort you put in is totally worth it, especially when the house is filled with love and laughter, people and food and drinks…lots and lots of booze 😉😉