Spanakopita

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

Chilli flakes

2 tbsp Olive oil to cook the spinach and mushrooms

More olive oil for layering

Let’s cook:

Step 1- Preheat the oven at 175ยฐ

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. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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 ๐Ÿ‘‡

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 175ยฐ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰

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