Me & Hugh: Corner Shop Spanakopitta

Om nom nom. (photo by Ben)

Serves 3

  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 red onion
  • 100g feta
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 375g puff pastry
  • 1/2 lemon
  1. Spinach is my salad leaf of choice (controversial, I know, but it worked for Popeye) but I struggle when it comes to incorporating it in more substantial dishes. Hugh’s corner shop spanakopitta (named because the ingredients are readily available.. yep, you guessed it) was easy to prepare and didn’t take an age to bake, exactly what an amateur cook needs in his first foray into vegetarian cookery.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (gas mark 6) and wilt the spinach in a lidded pan. Saute the onions in a pan (with fennel or cumin seeds and thyme if you have them – I didn’t) and squeeze the water out of the slightly cooled spinach and chop roughly. Combine onions and spinach, add lemon juice and seasoning and then the majority of the egg.
  3. Layer the mixture in an ovenproof dish, and scatter with the cheese (Hugh says goat’s works just as well) and pine nuts and top with the rest of the spinach and onions. Lay the pastry (I used pre-rolled) over the dish and trim to size of the dish. Brush with the remaining egg and and bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Hugh doesn’t provide much in the way of suggested side dishes so I paired the spanakopitta with a simple cous cous salad (finely chopped cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, a bit of lettuce, lemon juice and cous cous) and some mint yogurt dip, which go nicely. The spanakopitta itself is gooey and soft, the kind of dish you don’t have to chew, just move around your mouth with your tongue.
  5. And I found that I had enough pastry, pine nuts and egg left over to rustle up another portion with some more feta, onions and courgettes I uncovered in the fridge. You know, given time, I might just crack this vegetarian lark….