Filo pastry is one of my favourite pastries. Its light, crispy, buttery and gives the most amazing texture contrast when baked with a soft filling. Its not only ideal for savoury pies such as here but impressive when cooked with a sweet filling. This very spiral can be packed with a sweet almond frangipane and dusted with icing sugar for a delicious dessert.
This a a spiral version of the traditional Greek spanakopita that can be made in a round tin also. This may look more complicated but its actually a lot easier if you don’t have a tin to hand! It can be a bit tricky to manipulate however I promise once baked it will look like stunning. As someone who grumpily shoved the raw pie into the oven, cursing at how it looked “nothing like the recipe photo” and “how on earth can that be expected to work” it came out looking like a model spanakopita. I felt smug.
Serve with a simple fresh green salad with plenty of lemon juice and a scoop of Greek yoghurt.
TIP: Keep the filo pastry under a damp tea towel when not using to stop it drying out. It WILL dry out in minutes and break apart if not.
TIP: Use plenty of melted butter. Don’t leave any raw pastry un-buttered. It will make it easier to form into a spiral, prevent cracks and taste better.
Adapted from delicious magazine.
- 1 pack filo pastry (about 6-7 sheets)
- 125g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- 1 large red onion, sliced
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 x 400g bags spinach leaves
- 300g feta, crumbled
- 150g goats cheese, crumbled
- 40g parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 3 free range eggs
- Bunch dill, finely chopped
- Bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
- Pinch chilli flakes
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 75g pine nuts, toasted
- Preheat the oven to 190 and line a baking tray with parchment.
- Wilt the spinach in batches in your biggest pan with a splash of water. Drain, cool and then squeeze out any excess water. Then, using a muslin cloth or tea towel, tightly squeeze the remaining water (you’ll be shocked at how little spinach you end up with).
- Roughly chop the remaining spinach and add to a big mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Fry the red onions for about 5 minutes until soft. Season and add the balsamic. Let this sizzle and cook and coat the onions until they become sticky. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- Add all the cheeses, the eggs, the dill (save a handful for serving), mint, chilli, lemon, pine nuts and a pinch of nutmeg to the spinach bowl. Season well. Finally, add the onions and mix well.
- Melt the butter if not already done so.
- Put one sheet of rectangular filo on a clear work surface and brush generously with butter. Top with another sheet and brush as before. Add 1/3 of the spinach mixture in a line against the long edge of the pastry. Roll into a cylinder, brushing with butter to cover any raw pastry.
- Twirl the long roll into a coil keeping it tight at the centre. Ensure its generously buttered or it will crack. Don’t worry if it does, you can patch it up with extra buttered filo before baking.
- Repeat this step with the other pastry sheets and the other 2/3 of mixture adding the rolls to the coil making it larger as you go.
- Brush the whole wheel liberally with butter. If there are any large cracks and the filling is exposed, take a spare piece of pastry, butter and then patch it up as best you can. Finally, scatter with a pinch of salt and the sesame and nigella seeds.
- Bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown and cooked.
- Serve scattered with extra dill.
I like to cut mine into a slice like you would a quiche. Some serve by the roll, pealing off bits of the spiral. As you like. My way you end up with a higher pastry ratio!