Spinach filo torte

Celia Brooks Brown's elegant version of a traditional Greek spinach pie makes a delicious vegetarian meal
By Celia Brooks Brown
Spinach filo torte
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

main

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 spring onions, white and green parts finely chopped
  • 500 g spinach, fresh or frozen, thawed
  • 350 g cottage cheese, drained of any excess whey
  • 500 g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp dill, chopped
  • 3 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp uncooked long grain rice

For the pastry:

  • 12 leaves of filo pastry
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 125 g butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds, (optional)

Tips and Suggestions

To freeze this recipe, make sure you choose fresh filo pastry and freeze the unbaked pie in the cake tin covered with plastic freezer wrap and heavy-duty foil. Thaw it, uncovered, in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight, then bake it as described left.

Method

1. To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat.

2. Add the spring onion and cook until soft. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted. If using frozen spinach, cook until heated through.

3. Drain the spinach mixture in a colander and press out as much moisture as possible. Leave to cool, then tip onto a clean cloth, gather up the sides and squeeze the excess moisture out of the spinach. Chop coarsely.

4. In a bowl, combine the spinach mixture with the cottage cheese, feta, dill, parsley and rice, mixing very thoroughly. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, bearing in mind the saltiness of the feta.

5. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

6. Unwrap the filo pastry and cover the pastry with a barely damp cloth to prevent it drying out and becoming brittle. Combine the olive oil and melted butter.

7. Brush the butter mixture all over a 20cm springform cake tin. Place one layer of filo on the bottom, brush with the butter mixture, top with another layer at a slightly different angle, brush with the butter mixture, and so on, forming 7 layers. Spoon all of the spinach filling on top of the layered filo, spreading out evenly.

8. Fold over any excess filo across the top of the filling and continue layering, forming 5 more layers. Brush the top with butter and then, using a very sharp knife, score the pastry and filling, before baking, into 8 pieces. Scatter black sesame seeds over the top for decoration, if using.

9. Bake the spinach pie for 30 minutes, then remove the springform ring and cook for a further 15 minutes, until sizzling, deep golden and crisp right through each of the filo layers.

10. Cut again along the original slits before serving. Serve hot or cold.

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