These Cheese and Spinach Pastires or Spanakopita as we Greeks call them are wonderful. They are delicious served hot for lunch, dinner or as a snack and are great for the kids lunch boxes, if there are any left over. You can also make them ahead of time and freeze till you need them. Then just bake them from frozen till lovely and golden.
Niki’s Cheese and Spinach Spanakopita Recipe
Makes 18 pieces Prep 30 mins Cooking 30 mins
3 sheets frozen puff pastry
1/2 bunch (500g) silverbeet
1 bunch (250g) english spinach
a squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chives
3 shallots finely chopped
70g pine nuts, lightly toasted
2/3 cup (125g) cottage cheese
2/3 cup (125g) danish fetta, crumbled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg extra, lightly beaten
sesame seeds to sprinkle on top of pastries
2 oven trays, greased and lined with baking paper
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
- Cut stalks from sliverbeet and spinach, wash and shake off excess water. Place spinach in saucepan, put lid on and place on hotplate on a moderate heat. When spinach has wilted which should only take about 2 minutes remove from heat saucepan and drain. When spinach has cooled squeeze out any excess liquid and chop finely. Squeeze a little lemon juice over spinach and mix.
- Place spinach into a large bowl and add herbs, cheeses, eggs, shallots and pine nuts. Mix the ingredients till they are combined well.
- Take partially thawed puff pastry sheets and cut each sheet in half making 6 rectangles all up. Spoon filling down the centre length of each pastry. Fold over 1 edge and brush with extra beaten egg. Fold over the other side overlapping pastry and gently press down, then brush this side with egg. Cut each pastry into 3 even sized pieces, turn pastries over, brush top side with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Place pastries (seam side down) on prepared baking trays and bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Cool slightly on a cooling rack and enjoy !
If you are allergic to nuts just omit the pine nuts, they taste just as great without them. You can also replace the sesame seeds with poppy seeds or grated parmesan if you like. These pastries taste great whether hot or cold and make an excellent lunch box filler as well.
© Niki Mitropoulos 2011
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