Inspired by Spanakopita, this is a simple recipe that’s easy to throw together when time is short and requires very little shopping.
Easy Spinach & Feta Pie (Cheat’s Spanakopita) – to serve 4
- 1kg frozen whole-leaf spinach
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin, fennel or caraway seeds (use what you have)
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- ½ tsp dried thyme or a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 100g feta or soft goats cheese, broken into small chunks
- 35g pine nuts, toasted or roughly chopped cashew nuts (we used a mix of both)
- 375g all-butter, ready-rolled puff pastry
Heat the oven to 200°C /Gas Mark 6.
Put the frozen spinach into a saucepan with a splash of water. Cover and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until totally defrosted. Drain in a sieve, pressing with a wooden spoon.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the spice seeds and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the onion and sauté until soft and golden. Add the thyme.
When the spinach has cooled a bit, squeeze as much liquid out of it as you can with your hands, then roughly chop. Mix with the onion, a squeeze of lemon juice and plenty of seasoning. Keep a few tablespoons of the egg for glazing and stir the rest into the spinach and onion mixture.
Spoon half the spinach mixture into an ovenproof dish (around 25 x 20 cm). Scatter over the cheese and pine nuts or cashews, and top with the remaining spinach. Brush a little beaten egg around the rim of the dish.
Lay the pastry over the dish and trim. Press the edge down on the rim of the dish so that it sticks. Brush with the rest of the beaten egg and bake for about 25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown.
(Original recipe from River Cottage Veg Everyday! by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Bloomsbury, 2011.)