Low fat spanakopita

I really believe filo pastry is a diets’ best friend. All of the joy of pastry, almost non of the calories, it’s win win. And the little sheets of translucent pastry are just so lovely to work and make things with.

 

What you need:

  • 500g fresh spinach
  • 1 finely shopped shallot
  • 6 spring onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 200g ricotta
  • Nutmeg to grate
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp shredded mint
  • 5 sheets of filo pastry
  • 100g feta
  • 4 mini bell peppers
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 mini cucumbers
  • 2tsp capers

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It’s so simple:

  • Put all of the spinach into a large pan and pour boiling water over it to wilt it down. Press it all down with a spoon and leave for 1 – 2 minutes to wilt.
  • Tip into a colander and run cold water over it. When it’s not too how to touch, squeeze out the water and make the spinach into a tightly compact shape.
  • Chop up the spinach roughly, and set aside.
  • Heat some oil in another pan and add the shallot, spring onions and garlic. Fry for 4 minutes until they start to brown, then turn down the heat a little and add the spinach for 1 minute.
  • Season with salt, pepper and grate on some fresh nutmeg. Taste and add more seasoning if needed.
  • Put the oven on to 190 Degrees C and put in a baking sheet to heat up (this will help to cook the bottom of the pie later).
  • Lightly oil a baking dish / pie dish to cook your spanakopita in.
  • Take your filo pastry and brush the top one with a little more oil, then carefully lower it into the tin to line the base and 2 of the sides, with an overhang on both sides.
  • Brush a bit more oil over the second pastry sheet and this time lay it down in the tin the other way round, so it drapes over and lines the base and the other 2 sides. The tin should now be completely covered, with a pastry overhang all round. Repeat the criss-cross layering with 2 more oiled filo sheets.
  • Stir the ricotta mixture into the spinach, then crumble in the feta. Lightly stir it in so you leave a few chunky pieces. Spoon this filling into the lined tin and level it.
  • Bring the pastry sides up and over the filling, then brush a little oil over them. Brush the remainder of the oil over the last filo sheet on the board and use it to cover the top of the pie, leaving it crinkley on top.

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  • Place the tin on the heated baking sheet and bake for 25-30 mins until the pastry is crisp and golden. Leave to cool for 10-15 mins.
  • Remove the tin and transfer to a serving plate. If your tin doesn’t have a loose bottom, carefully upturn it onto a flat board, then flip it over onto the serving plate.

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  • Whilst it cools make your salad by hollowing out the peppers and chapping them into cross sections so the keep their lovely shape. Use a vegetable peeler to make lovely small slithers of cucumber and chop the cherry tomatoes in half. Mix in a bowl with the capers and their juice.

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