The Greek Spinach Pie
The spinach pie in Greece is one of the most common street food you can find. It can be found in every street corner and is considered as a snack for breakfast or lunch up to about 3 pm. After that all the shops making it run out and that's it for the day until 6 a.m. the next day when they start again selling fresh ones. These shops are cafeterias selling other pies as well such as meat pies, cheese pies, sausage pies, little pizzas etc. Today we shall talk about the spinach pie.
The spinach pie is divided into two types: with feta cheese or just spinach for those who fast or don't eat cheese for some reason.
Today I decided to go ahead and make the simple spinach pie because I am avoiding salty cheeses due to my high blood pressure. Of course using feta, or a mixture of other cheeses is better, tastier, and of course, richer in calories.
- 2 kg of frozen spinach (leaves or finely cut). After thawing they have to be very well strained by taking a handful at a time and pressing them patiently between the palm of your hands to squeeze all the juice out. The spinach must be dry when used or else the juices will spoil your pie. 2 kg of frozen spinach produced 900 gr of strained dry spinach.
- 1 bunch of parsley finely chopped.
- 1 bunch of fresh dill finely chopped.
- 2 big onions finely cubed.
- 1 pack of fyllo pastry: about 12 sheets 40 cm x 30 cm.
- ½ cup of olive oil.
- ½ cup of vegetable margarine.
- 2 eggs (for vegetarians) these can be omitted.
Note: I added no salt or pepper for health reasons. But of course you go ahead and use salt and pepper but take into consideration the salt in the feta (300 gr for this quantity of spinach) if you are going to use any.
- Melt margarine in oil just until melted. Mix, and set aside.
- Thaw spinach and extract all juices as explained above and set aside.
- In a large pan heat some olive oil just to cover the bottom add cubed onions and stir fry till transparent.
- Add chopped dill and parsley and stir fry for about 3 minutes.
- Add well strained spinach stir and mix with onion till all the spinach is well separated from each other and you get a homogeneous mixture.
- Cook mixture for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.
- When cool, add eggs and mix well.
Putting the pie together:
- Fyllo pastry dries up very quickly. So open the pack just before you start putting the pie together working as quickly as you can.
- Using a 36 cm x 30 cm oven dish, start by brushing the olive oil/margarine mixture all over the bottom.
- Cover by one fyllo pastry sheet and tap to get any trapped air out.
- Brush more olive oil/margarine mixture and add one more fyllo sheet tapping again to get the air out. Any excess fyllo on the sides fold in.
- Put 6 of the 12 fyllo sheets always brushing olive oil mixture between them.
- At this point, add your cooled, and dry spinach mixture and spread evenly to cover the baking dish.
- Now, start adding the other 6 six sheets one by one by brushing olive oil mixture between them. Always tucking the extra fyllo in.
- When all the sheets have been used, cut into portions as in photo.
- Sprinkle some water just before putting your pie into the oven.
- Bake for 40 minutes at 200 degrees C with air, on the lowest shelf of your oven to make sure the pie cooks well from beneath.
- When the top of the pie takes a nice tanned color it is ready.
- Make sure to let it sit for about 15 - 20 minutes before you dig in otherwise it is too hot to eat and enjoy.
- This spinach pie can also be enjoyed cold the next day. It can stay up to 2 days in the fridge.