The Urban Hunter Gatherer – Spanakopita

Charles Standing’s Dune Spinach Spanakopita puts a lovely local twist on that Greek favourite we all struggle to pronounce.  Instead of English spinach, opt for a foraged dune spinach, failing that, store bought will work just as well.

INGREDIENTS (4 servings)

2 double handfuls of spinach leaves (in this case dune spinach)

1 onion chopped

1 egg

1 grating of nutmeg

1 sprig of chopped herbs (in this case wild sage, oregano is good too)

200g of ricotta or feta (in this case ‘fake feta’)

4 sheets of phyllo pastry cut in half

50g melted butter or 50ml of olive oil

A glug of olive oil for frying

1 salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

In a large frying pan on medium heat, fry the onions until soft. Add the herbs, nutmeg and spinach. Place a lid on the mix, while turning occasionally until the spinach is wilted and dramatically reduced in size. Allow to cool.

Once cooled, squeeze out excess fluids (I do this in the pan angled over the sink by pressing the spinach with the back of a large serving spoon). Now thoroughly mix in the cheese and egg. Season with salt and pepper (if you are using feta, be careful with the salt, because dune spinach is salty too). Your filling is now done… scoop it into an appropriate sized baking dish and lightly flatten.

Cut four sheets of phyllo pastry in half and brush with melted butter/olive oil. Loosely crunch each greased pastry sheet and place on top of the spinach mix in the baking dish… repeat until the dish is covered in phyllo pastry. Pop into the oven and bake until the pastry is golden, about half an hour.

Chomp and enjoy.