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One of my all-time favourite dishes to cook is a spanakopita, made the old school way with homemade village type pastry, a stack of spinach, fresh herbs, quality Greek feta and a copious amount of olive oil that gets soaked up into the pastry to produce all those beautifully crisp layers.

Now let me correct that first paragraph – I love cooking an old school spanakopita when there is plenty of time to fluff about…which there often isn’t…especially when juggling work, family, activities, playing taxi driver etc etc!

I always have a couple of packets of sour cream shortcrust pastry in my freezer and it really helps in getting food we all love on the table when I’m short on time! You can easily use any shortcrust pastry for this although the sour cream pastry has to be my favourite!

Developed as part of my Food Edit with the LifeStyle Edit, this quick spanakopita beauty is filled with all the ingredients of the traditional pita, however by cooking the ingredients down and having the pastry ready to go, you end up with a super delicious and nutritious dish, with half the mess and in half the time!

Serves: 6

Ingredients 
  • 1 packet sour cream shortcrust pastry sheet, defrosted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 shallots, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large bunch English spinach, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 100g marinated goat’s cheese or feta, crumbled
  • ¼ cup mozzarella (or other baking cheese), grated
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, whisked well to use as eggwash

Instructions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

  2. Cut the pastry in half lengthwise and pop back in the fridge using the plastic film to ensure the pastry doesn’t stick together.

  3. Heat the oil in a medium size frypan over a medium heat and add the shallots. Saute for about 3 minutes before adding the garlic. Saute for another minute or so until lovely and fragrant.

  4. Add the spinach and stir until all the juices are released and evaporate. Add the herbs and season to taste. Once the herbs have started wilting, turn off the heat and add the crumbled goat’s cheese/ feta. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

  5. Once the mixture has cooled, place one half of the pastry on the lined tray. Place the mixture in the centre of the pastry, leaving about a 2cm border around the edge. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top.

  6. Fold the other half of pastry in half again and cut 5 slits along the fold line to make the steam vents for the pie.

  7. Brush the border on the first half of the tray with eggwash and then place the other half with the slits on top. Press the edges of the pie together and then slightly roll them in. Make a little crimp on the edges by using the pointer and middle fingers of one hand and placing the pointer finger of your other hand in between.

  8. Brush the whole top with the eggwash and place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes or until crispy and a golden brown colour. Allow to cool a little before slicing and serving.



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