I travelled through the Greek Islands in my early 20's and lived for a few months in Chania Crete; the locals would use wild greens and silverbeet in this delicious dish.
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely sliced
1.5kg fresh spinach or silverbeet (or 550g cooked)
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
300g coarse-textured feta cheese,
crumbled (see Cook’s Tips)
whisked ¼ cup cream
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp ground nutmeg
4 Tbsp butter, melted
350g packet filo pastry
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
oregano and thyme leaves
Heat a frying pan or saucepan and add oil. Sauté onion for 4–5 minutes until softened. Set aside.
Wash spinach or silverbeet in a sink of cold water until clean and free of dirt. (You may need to do this a couple of times.) Lift
out leaves and shake off water (the dirt will stay in the water). Pull tough stems away from the bigger leaves of spinach; if using silverbeet, trim away half the tough white stalk. Chop leaves roughly.
Quarter fill a large saucepan with water and bring to boil. Add spinach or silverbeet and cook for a few minutes or until wilted.
Drain in a colander. Place colander under cold running water and toss leaves around with your hands until cold. Drain and press out excess water with your hands. It’s important to get the spinach or silverbeet as dry as possible.
In a large bowl place parsley, feta, eggs, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix together lightly with a fork. Add the spinach/silverbeet and onion and mix through well.
Brush a 23cm square metal tin with melted butter. Lay the filo pastry on a clean board and cover with a damp tea towel to prevent it drying out. Line base and sides of tin with a layer of filo, pressing it into the corners, and brush with melted butter. Repeat until you have 8 layers of filo lining the tin. Spoon the cooled spinach/silverbeet mixture into the tin, pressing it down well and into the corners. Trim remaining filo to fit the top of the pie. Place 8 layers of filo on top of the pie, buttering each layer as you go. Sprinkle top buttered layer of filo with sesame seeds.
6 Bake in an oven preheated to 190ºC for 35–45 minutes until puffy, crisp and golden. Serve hot or cold.
Ready in: 1 hour 20 minutes
Credit: Taste Magazine
Recipe & styling: Tracey Sunderland
Tips: There are all sorts of feta cheeses