Yes, I love spanakopita. However this love was not shared as in my house there lives an onion hater. Yes, an onion hater. So my love was not shared as in many spanakopita recipes onion features heavily, second only to the spinach in most. Now, I have hidden onion in many things, but I was feeling particularly amenable so I decided to come up with a variation on the spanakopita theme, minus the onion, just to be nice. I ended up with 12 spanakopitas, but you could make 18 smaller ones by cutting each filo sheet into 3 and using a little less filling in each. It went down well with the onion hater!
400g frozen spinach, thawed with the water squeezed out (this left me approx 220g)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and gently sautéed in a little olive oil until soft and slightly coloured
200g feta, crumbled
10 pitted black olives, roughly chopped
A small handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chilli flakes
Nutmeg, grated (lots, I used 1/4 of a nutmeg)
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 packet filo pastry, 6 sheets minimum (mine had 7 and was 270g)
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 2 baking trays with parchment or greaseproof paper.
Place the spinach into a large bowl and add the garlic, feta, olives, mint, dill, oregano, chilli flakes, nutmeg, lemon zest and juice. Mix together until you have an evenly distributed mix.
Season to taste, adding more lemon juice, or extra herbs & spices to adjust as required. Once you are happy, beat the egg and add it to the mix, stirring it through.
Prepare to build the spanakopita. You will need a 1/2 cup of olive oil with a pastry brush, a cutting board and a sharp knife. Only take your filo pastry out of the packet once you are set up and ready to go. Filo dries out very quickly so you need to work fast. It is also a good idea to only take out one sheet at a time and keep the rest wrapped in a damp tea towel.
Place a filo sheet on the cutting board and half lengthways. Brush both pieces well with the oil then place a tablespoon of the spinach mixture at the end of each strip.
You are now going to fold the pastry over the mixture, to make a triangular shaped spanakopita. Take a corner and fold it diagonally across the spinach mix.
Repeat with the opposite corner, so you get numerous layers of pastry either side of the mixture. Keep this going until you get to the end of the pastry strip, and repeat with the other one.
You will end up with 2 triangular spanakopita that look something like below.
Brush a bit more oil over these and place onto one of your baking trays.
Repeat this with the remaining pastry sheets and spinach mixture until you have 12 spanakopitas.
Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes, checking every so often to make sure they are not burning. Once they are golden all over remove from the oven and place the parcels of spinachy joy onto some kitchen towel to blot any excess oil.
Serve alongside a green salad with your favourite dressing, and pack up the remainder for snacks and lunches.