Marrying a vegetarian has certainly opened my eyes up to the horrors of the meat industry, although not quite enough that i'm ready to convert (I still live in hope that I can actually convert Ben to animal, land and planet friendly meat), but it has certainly changed the way I, myself eat meat. I think this article by Hugh pretty much sums it up and like Hugh, I am quite happy to have meat-free days and love discovering new recipes that we not only enjoy, but crave.
One such recipe is this Spanakopita - sure, i've made Spinach and Ricotta type filo pies before, but there's something about this recipe that makes it too incredibly more-ish.
1sml onion or 3-4 spring onions
3 cloves of garlic
Rind of 1 lemon
400g baby spinach
2 eggs (optional)
Handful of crushed, flaked almonds
Handful of chopped basil
Salt & pepper
6 sheets filo pastry
3 tablespoons of melted butter
Poppy or Sesame seeds (to decorate)
In a large frypan, sauté the garlic, onion & lemon rind until soft. Continuing on a low heat, place the spinach on top of the mixture with the salt and pepper and mix through until wilted.
There will be quite a lot of liquid in the pan, so take the spinach mixture out (leaving as much of the liquid behind) and place onto kitchen towel - squeeze out any excess liquid so the spinach is quite dry. Leave to cool slightly. There won't seem to be much spinach, but this is normal so don't worry.
In a large bowl, mix the spinach with the remaining ingredients. I say eggs are optional, as the first time I made this I accidentally left them out and it still tasted wonderful AND had a lovely texture.
Brushing with butter as you go along, place 4 sheets of the filo over a round, low dish, fanning out around the dish so you have excess pastry around all of the circle.
Fill the dish with the mixture and fold over the excess pastry. Use the remaining 2 sheets to ensure the top is covered and also to decorate to make it look pretty. Brush the top with butter and sprinkle over either the poppy or sesame seeds.
Bake in the oven at 190 degrees for approximately 30 minutes - being careful not to burn the pastry.
Serve with lemon potatoes or a fresh salad (or both!).
|see what I mean about more-ish!!|