Spinach pie

The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Alan Benson

While I use butter for the fillo sheets, olive oil may be used if desired. A spray can of olive oil is a time saver — but use it sparingly.


Quantity Ingredient
500g spinach
125ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped
8 spring onions, chopped
small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons dill or fennel, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
125g Mizithra
or 125g ricotta cheese
150g feta cheese, well-crumbled
25g kefalotiri or parmesan cheese, finely grated
4 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
melted butter, for brushing
10 sheets fillo pastry


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. To prepare the spinach, wash it well and cut off any coarse stems. Chop the leaves roughly and place in a large saucepan. Cover and place over medium–low heat for 7–8 minutes, shaking the pan now and then or turning the spinach with a fork. Heat just long enough to wilt the spinach so that the juices can run out freely. Drain well in a colander, pressing occasionally with a spoon.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onion for 10 minutes. Add the spring onion and cook for a further 5 minutes or until translucent.
  4. Transfer the onion mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the drained spinach, herbs, nutmeg, cheeses and eggs and stir to combine. Check the saltiness of the mixture, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Brush a 25 × 30 cm baking dish with melted butter and line it with a sheet of fillo pastry. Top with another four sheets, brushing each with butter.
  6. Spread the filling over the pastry and top with the remaining fillo, brushing each sheet again with butter. Trim the edges if necessary and tuck the pastry in on all sides.
  7. Brush the top lightly with more butter. Lightly score the top layer of pastry into squares, using a sharp knife or stanley knife. Sprinkle a little cold water on top to prevent the pastry curling up.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before cutting into portions for serving.
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Middle Eastern
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