Serves: 8 as an appetizer or 4 as a light lunch accompanied by a salad
Preparation time: 45 min.
Spinach and Feta Cheese combine well and the anchovies give this dish an extra subtle flavor. A variation of the popular Spanakopita recipe from Greece. Light and well rounded in taste.
- savory shortcrust pastry to fit a 10 inch (25 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom – for ingredients click here
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
- 8 anchovy fillets, desalted and coarsely chopped (optional)
- 2 cups (450 g) wilted and well-drained spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2 eggs beaten
- 10 oz (300 ml) heavy cream
- salt (if no anchovies are used)
- freshly ground pepper
- dash of nutmeg
- 1/2 cup (115 g) chopped Italian parsley
- 3/4 cup (170 g) of Greek feta cheese
If anchovies are too salty for your taste, put them in a small container with a bit of milk or water for 10 minutes while you are sauteing the onions. When ready, dry them on paper towels before adding it to the spinach mix.
First I prepare the savory shortcrust pastry and let it rest in the fridge – you find the recipe here.
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Roll out pastry onto the bottom and sides of a 10 inch (25 cm) pie pan with removable bottom. Cut off excessive pastry hanging over the sides. Line it with baking paper and weigh it down with ceramic pastry weights or beans. Bake it blind on oven’s middle shelf for about 7-8 minutes or until edges start to look golden brown. Do not let the edges get dark as they will cook further when the filling is added. When done remove from oven and set aside. Be careful when removing baking weights, they are very hot and can burn hands.
While pastry shell is baking, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onions until they are soft, stirring constantly and watching that they do not get brown. Lower the heat if necessary and continue cooking for about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes longer. Add the anchovies and sauté until they start to dissolve. Add drained spinach leaves and cook until almost all moisture is gone. Add chopped parsley, freshly ground pepper and a dash of nutmeg. Taste for salt. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl wish eggs and cream. Add fresh ground pepper and salt (optional, depending on the saltiness of the anchovies and feta cheese).
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (175°C).
Spread spinach-onion mix over the pre-baked short crust pastry. Pour egg-cream mix gently on top making sure it is equally distributed. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top and bake it on the middle shelf for about 20-25 minutes or until the center is slightly puffed and feta cheese crumbs begin to brown on the edges. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean when done. It is best served lukewarm.