Spanakopita

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Nothing is better than crispy filo, earthy spinach and salty vegan feta. Well, that’s the dining fetish at the moment and I won’t be moved! I’ve added in a non-standard goodness of some broccolini, which I just happened to have from the farmers market and it was such a textual winner. I pre cook my spinach and add in some ground rice to soak up and moisture, which is also a good binder for the filling. Vegan cream cheese is readily available in supermarkets now, as is vegan parmesan and feta. If you can get all these elements, no fuss, just use what you can get. I serve this with a tomato, mint, onion, cucumber and toasted pine nut salad and a drizzle of tzatziki made with coconut yoghurt. Also divine cold from the fridge in a silky nighty, Nigella style!

Tools
Deep baking dish

Ingredients

1 bunch silverbeet leaves finely shredded

1 bag spinach leaves, finely chopped

1 bunch broccolini, cut into 2cm pieces

2 cloves garlic finely sliced

1 bunch dill, chopped

1 bunch spring onions, chopped

1 container vegan cream cheese (I use Sheeze or tofurtti brand)

1 packet vegan feta (I use Bio brand)

2T vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast flakes

2T arborio or short grain rice, ground (use a high speed blender or coffee grinder for this)

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Ground black pepper

Melted vegan butter

Olive oil

1 box filo pastry sheets

Sesame or poppy seeds

 Tzatziki

1 container natural coconut yoghurt

1 cucumber, grated and squeezed of liquid

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 bunch mint, finely chopped (optional)

1T olive oil

Zest + juice one lemon

Salt, pepper and ground cumin to taste

 

Let’s DO This!

1.     Set your oven to 180 degrees.

2.     Combine all tzatziki ingredients and set aside.

3.     In a frypan add some olive oil and heat, add garlic.

4.     Add silverbeet, spinach and broccolini, put on a lid and steam until just soft. Strain and cool in a colander.

5.     In a large bowl, add greens mix, herbs, spring onions, pepper, lemon and zest, cream cheese, parmesan, rice and feta. Mix together until combined.

6.     Brush sheets of filo with butter and layer in the baking dish, put about 10 layers on the bottom, with the overhang on the sides, you will tuck this in later.

7.     Tip in the spinach mix and smooth. Tuck in filo sides. Brush butter over another five layers and tuck over the top like a well made bed.

8.     Brush the top with more butter and sprinkle with seeds.

9.     Bake in the oven for 40 mins until golden brown, turning once.

10.  Let sit for 5 mins and serve with salad and tzatziki

Polly McGee