Greek Culture

Yiayia’s secrets for making the best Spanakopita

1 year ago

No Greek table is complete without spanakopita (σπανακόπιτα).

For me, it was a staple in my home growing up.

This delicious savoury Greek pie is stuffed with spinach, feta and herbs that are all enfolded by crispy, flaky filo pastry…. need I say more?!

Today, I’m sharing my yiayia’s recipe and tips for her famous spanakopita.

I like to follow her recipe while listening to GCT’s Spotify playlist.

*Note: If the filo is frozen, remove if from the freezer and place in the refrigerator the day before it is needed.

Ingredients
  • Packet of filo pastry
  • 3 bunches of spinach
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of dill, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 300g of feta, crumbled
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
Steps to make Spanakopita
  1. Finely chop the spinach, place in a large colander over a bowl and sprinkle evenly with salt. Place a heavy weight on top- a large dinner plate topped with a few tins works well- and leave for 1 hour to drain.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  3. Grease the base and sides of the baking dish with a little oil and line the base with baking paper.
  4. Rinse the spinach thoroughly under running water, drain well and squeeze out as much water as possible.
  5. Place in a large bowl, add the dill, mint, feta, parmesan cheese and eggs and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, remembering that feta is salty and the spinach has been salted.
  6. Dampen a clean tea towel with water.
  7. Remove the filo from the packet, unroll carefully, cover with a large piece of baking paper and top with the damp tea towel. To ensure the filo doesn’t dry out and tear, each time you remove a sheet, replace the baking paper and tea towel.
  8. Working with one sheet at a time, lay 7 filo sheets into the prepared baking dish, brushing every second sheet with oil.
  9. Top with spinach mixture, spreading it out evenly and pressing with the back of a spoon to pack it tightly.
  10. Top with 7 filo sheets, brushing every second sheet with oil.
  11. Brush the top sheet and tuck any excess filo into the baking dish.
  12. Using a sharp knife, cut into squares, three-quarters of the way through to the bottom of the tray.
  13. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of ice water.
  14. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is golden and crisp.
  15. When ready, remove dish from oven.
  16. Allow to cool slightly. Cut the squares through to the bottom.
  17. Serve the spanakopita hot or at room temperature.
Tips:
  • Never cook the spinach leaves before adding them to the pie.
  • Sprinkling the spanakopita with a tiny bit of ice water creates a nice, crispy top.
Check out our other recipes here:
*More on GCT: Global Feta Shortage: Thank Tiktok
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