1 packet of filo pastry (these are the very thin sheets) *
1 kilo fresh spinach
600 g leeks
2 large onions
3 spring onions
Option: herbs to your liking, ie. parsley, dill, mint
300 g sour curd (μυζήθρα) or feta cheese
2 medium eggs
2 soupspoons semolina or plain flour
Buckets of olive oil
S & P
Take the packet of pastry from the freezer to defrost a couple of hours before you`re ready to begin your pie.
Wash and clean your spinach. Chop roughly and leave to strain. Chop your leeks and onions finely and throw into the pan with a good splash of olive oil to gently fry. Add the spinach and the finely chopped herbs. Add S & P. Cook gently, stirring occasionally till the mixture is cooked and reduced in bulk.
Remove from the heat and pour into a colander to strain and to cool a little. When it has cooled sufficiently, take handfuls and squeeze out excess liquid. **
Squash the sour curd or feta with your fingers into the mixture, then add the beaten eggs, the semolina or flour. Mix very well, this is best done with your hands.
Oil your circular baking tray well.
Some brands of filo are thinner than others. The thinner brand should be used in twos. Take two sheets and cut them along the middle, lengthwise. Place the filling along the long edge of the pastry, leaving a couple of cms at each end.
Before you position the roll into the baking tray, give it a little twist. Begin at the outer edge and work your way inwards in a spiral, keeping the rolls quite snug, but not squashed.
When you`ve finished, pour plenty of olive oil over the surface, making sure all the pastry has been coated. The pastry will absorb the oil, so don`t be afraid to be generous. You can sprinkle over sesame seeds if you want.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C, till the pastry is crispy brown, approx. 50 minutes depending on your oven.
* I usually don`t advertise, but having bought expensive packets of filo and been quite disappointed with the quality, I have found the one most to my liking is Kanaki, (Κανάκη).
** This spinach mixture can be used in small fried spinach pies also. If you prefer this type, retain the liquid from the strained spinach and use it in the pastry, this adds an extra special flavour to the pies.