This sexy little beauty (pronounced spanner-koh-pee-ta) is not half as complicated nor as exotic as it sounds.
Inspired by my very vivid memories as a little girl waiting for my dad to bring me back a fresh wedge of the stuff from the local bakery….
My version of the classic Greek spinach & feta pie is silky, creamy and crunchy in ALL the right places. I add leeks for sweetness and lemon zest for freshness.
And yes, the phyllo pastry from scratch is totally worth the extra 15 minutes!
Check it out below 🙂
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes
For the filling:
- 3-4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
- 2 large white (or brown) onions, finely chopped
- 2 large leeks, trimmed & chopped
- 1kg fresh spinach leaves, washed
- 500g Greek feta cheese, crumbled
- 30g fresh dill, finely chopped
- 30g fresh parsley, finely chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- lots of freshly ground black pepper
For the phyllo pastry:
- 500g plain flour + extra for dusting
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 200ml water
- 100ml virgin olive oil, for the dough
- 100ml virgin olive oil, for brushing
You will also need:
- 30cm round & deep baking tin or flan dish.
- A very large pot or frying pan with a lid.
- Plenty of work surface area, ideally a clean table.
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 190C.
Step 2 – To make the pastry, simply add all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, combine into a dough and knead for 5 minutes, sprinkling more flour if needed. The dough is ready when it comes away from the side of the bowl and becomes elastic. Transfer to another bowl and cover with cling film, leave to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Step 3 – To start the filling, add the olive oil to a pot or pan on a low-medium heat. Add the onions and leeks. Add the lid and sweat for 10-15 minutes until translucent. Stir every 4-5 minutes.
Step 4 – Add the spinach leaves in 2-3 batches, stir and put the lid on for the spinach to wilt. Repeat until all the spinach has wilted.
Step 5 – Remove pot or pan from the heat and add the feta, dill, parsley, lemon zest and black pepper. Combine well so that the mixture becomes silky and homogenous all over. Set aside.
Step 6 – To prepare for assembling the pie, brush your baking tin or dish with olive oil. Sprinkle work surface area liberally with flour.
Step 7 – Place the dough on your work surface area and divide into 6 equal dough balls. These will form 6 different layers of the pie, 3 on the bottom and 3 on the top.
Step 8 – Take 1 dough ball and roll with a rolling pin to make a sheet of pastry as thin as possible, sprinkling flour as needed. This will form layer 1 of your pie.
Step 9 – Gently cut layer 1 into 4 parts. Take each part (or quarter) and lift into your baking tin, overlapping the 4 pieces to make a single layer. Brush with olive oil liberally. Repeat the whole process with 2 more dough balls, creating 2 more layers on the bottom. Leave the edges untrimmed and hanging over.
Step 10 – Add the filling to the pie, gently push into the tin and smooth over with the back of a spoon. Taking 2 of your last 3 dough balls, create 2 top layers.
Step 11 – To make the 6th and final layer of your pie, roll out the last dough ball but leave it whole (don’t cut into 4). Gently lift over the top of your pie, layering it slightly and tuck in the rest of the edges by turning the pastry back onto itself. This will form the most delicious crunchy crust!
Step 12 – Brush the top of the pie with the rest of the olive oil. Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the pie into slices (not all the way to the bottom). Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden and there you have it. HEAVEN.
Tip: When rolling the dough out into sheets, it should be so thin that you can almost see through it when you lift it.
Perfect for: Breakfast. Whether it’s 11am (Greece time) or 8am (rest of the world time) it’s still the meal before lunch right? 😛