Spinach and Feta Pie

This is one of my favourite dishes to make, so simple and with a filling inspired  by some of my favourite Turkish pastries.  I’ve used the same spinach and feta filling with a variety of different pastry types, including puff and filo, but for this variation I chose to make my own shortcrust. This is a great option if you’re looking for a quick vegetarian pie!

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Ingredients:

  • Approx. 200g of spinach
  • 200g Feta
  • 3 eggs (medium sized)
  • 1 white onion
  • Flat leaf parsley (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • 200g Flour (I tend to use either brown rice flour or wholewheat)
  • Salt and black pepper for seasoning

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Method:

To make the pastry:

  1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, add in a pinch of salt and 100g of olive oil, also add in about 100-150 ml of lukewarm water. I prefer to add in the water slowly as I am mixing to get the right consistency.
  2. Without handling the dough too much, create a ball with the mixture  (you may need to handle it with some more flour if the consistency appears too wet to form a ball).
  3. Place in a dish with clingfilm to cover and leave to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.

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To make the filling:

  1. Whilst your dough is cooling you can start to prepare your filling. Prepare the feta by breaking it into small bits with a fork to allow it to be distributed consistently in the mixture. Set this aside to use later.
  2. Finely chop the onion and add to some olive oil in a saucepan. Slowly sauté the onions over a medium heat until see-through.
  3. When the onions appear cooked add in the spinach. Cover the saucepan with a lid to allow the spinach to wilt (you may need to reduce the heat to prevent the onions from overcooking at the bottom of the pan). Once the spinach has reduced in size thoroughly mix until all the spinach appears wilted and cooked.
  4. Make sure the heat is low and crack 2 eggs into the mixture. Mix rapidly to prevent the eggs from cooking too quickly and becoming scrambled.
  5. Add in your feta to the mixture.  At this point also add in a generous amount of milled black pepper.
  6. Continue to stir the mixture until it has reached a creamy consistency and take the pan off the heat. If you prefer a more herby taste you may choose to add in a handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley at this stage.

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Putting together the pie:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C
  2. Take your pastry out of the fridge. Take 2/3s of the mixture and on a flour-covered surface roll it out into a flat circular shape for the base, taking care to keep the thickness even (you may need to sprinkle some more flour during the process to prevent the dough from sticking). Place the rolled-out dough into your dish and press it into shape, cutting off any excess pieces where needed.
  3. Pour the filling mixture into your pastry lined dish.
  4. Combine the 1/3  of pastry left with any offcuts from the base and again roll it out again this time in a rectangular shape. Once rolled out cut the pastry into thin strips taking care to cut them at roughly the same width.
  5. Take the strips and place them on top of the filling in one direction, cutting them to fit the width of the dish. Press either end of each strip carefully into the sides of the base. Once you have finished placing the strips in one direction start placing on top of them in the opposite direction to create a woven effect, again pressing either side of strips in to side of the base piece.
  6. Create an egg wash by mixing the yolk of one egg  with a splash of cold water. Brush it over all visible bits of the pastry before placing the dish in the oven.

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When cooked the pie should appear a golden colour and the filling should appear more solid. This should take approximately 30-40 minutes.

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