Scrunch-top filo pie

    55 min

    Spinach and tangy goat's cheese make perfect partners in this impressive-looking Greek-style filo pastry pie. Colourful diced tomatoes and toasted pine nuts in the filling add to the appeal. Serve with boiled new potatoes and a dish of mixed vegetables, such as thinly sliced carrots and courgettes tossed with fresh tarragon leaves.

    20 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 sheets filo pastry, 30 x 50 cm (12 x 20 in) each, about 60 g (2¼ oz) in total
    • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    • Spinach and goat's cheese filling
    • 30 g (1 oz) pine nuts
    • 675 g (1½ lb) baby spinach leaves, trimmed of any large stalks
    • 200 g (7 oz) soft goat's cheese
    • 2 tsp plain flour
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
    • 4 tomatoes, about 300 g (10½ oz) in total, diced
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:55min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). To make the filling, toast the pine nuts in a large saucepan for 2–3 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
    2. Add half the spinach to the saucepan, with just the water used for washing still clinging to the leaves. Cover and cook for 3–4 minutes or until wilted and tender. Tip into a colander to drain while you cook the remaining spinach. Press out excess water, then roughly chop the spinach.
    3. Put the cheese in a bowl and sprinkle over the flour, then gradually beat in the eggs. Stir in the spinach, pine nuts and nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
    4. Spoon half of the spinach mixture into a 1.4 litre (2½ pint) ovenproof dish that is about 5 cm (2 in) deep. Top with the tomatoes, then cover with the remaining spinach mixture.
    5. Cut each sheet of filo pastry into eight 12.5 cm (5 in) squares, discarding the excess pastry. Brush the squares with the oil, then crumple them up loosely and place oil side up over the filling. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until the filling is lightly set and the pastry topping is golden brown and crisp. Serve hot.

    Some more ideas

    For a lower-fat version, use quark or ricotta cheese instead of goat's cheese. * To make a squash and cashew nut filo pie, toast 30 g (1 oz) cashew nuts, then coarsely chop. Steam 1 butternut squash, about 600 g (1 lb 5 oz), cut into 1 cm (½ in) cubes, for 6–7 minutes or until just tender. Mix 200 g (7 oz) curd cheese with 2 beaten eggs, then add the squash, cashew nuts, 1 coarsely grated carrot and 25 g (scant 1 oz) pumpkin seeds. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Spoon into a lightly greased ovenproof dish, top with the scrunched-up filo and bake as in the main recipe.

    Plus points

    Spinach is a great source of many of the antioxidants that help to protect against cancer, including vitamins C and E and beta-carotene. The beta-carotene content of spinach is 6 times greater than that of broccoli. * Pine nuts, also called pine kernels, are a good source of vitamin E and potassium. Though relatively new to many British cooks, husks recovered from Roman camp rubbish tips in the UK suggest that the Romans included pine nuts in their diet.

    Each serving provides

    A, B12, C, E, folate, calcium * B2, niacin, iron, potassium, zinc * B1, B6, copper

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