Spinach & Feta Pastry Recipe (Spanakopita)

 

Having recently returned from a holiday in Cyprus, I wanted to recreate some of the tasty Greek-Cypriot-style pastries at home.

This is my take on spanakopita (spinach triangles) – little pastries stuffed with spinach, feta cheese, pine nuts and fresh herbs.

Spinach, feta, pine nut pastries (spanakopita)
Spinach, feta & pine nut pastries (spanakopita)

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 250g strong white flour
  • 7g salt
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 20g olive oil
  • 130g water

Filling

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 medium leek, finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 400g fresh spinach leaves
  • 200g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 3 tbsp fresh fresh herbs (dill, mint or parsley), finely chopped
  • salt
  • freshly crushed pepper

How to bake them

For the dough

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Once you have a rough dough, turn it out onto a lightly oiled work surface
  3. Knead for 7 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft and no longer sticky
  4. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with cling film
  5. Set aside at room temperature for at least an hour

For the filling

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan
  2. Stir fry the garlic, leek and spring onions for a few minutes
  3. Put the mixture on a plate and set aside
  4. Add the spinach leaves to the pan and stir until wilted
  5. Simmer until all excess liquid from the spinach has evaporated (you can speed up this process by straining the excess liquid through a colander before placing the mixture back in the pan to dry it out further), stir frequently
  6. Set aside to cool
  7. Combine all ingredients: the garlic, leek and spring onion mixture, the spinach, crumbled feta cheese, toasted pine nuts and finely chopped herbs in a bowl
  8. Season to taste

For the pastries

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C
  2. Divide the dough into eight equal parts with a dough scraper
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each dough piece into a round about 15 cm in diameter, one at a time.
  4. Place 1/8 of the spinach and feta filling onto the dough round.
  5. Pick up 3 “corners” of the dough and bring together to form a dough triangle.
  6. Shape the dough parcel by bringing together the sides of the triangle, sealing them carefully. Use a little water to make this process easier.
  7. Place the dough parcels on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Cool on a wire rack or eat warm.

Spinach, feta and pine nut pastries filling (spanakopita)

Here they are – great spinach pastry appetizers!

Spinach, feta, pine nut and dill pastries (spanakopita)
Spinach, feta, pine nut and dill pastries (spanakopita)

The Cyprus bread & pastry experience

 

Last updated on September 13th, 2015 at 05:42 pm

Last week, I stayed in a small village in the South of Cyprus called Psematismenos. On my travels, I visited some local village bakeries around the Lemasos area to check out the baked goods on offer. Here are some impressions of Cypriot baking!

And if you fancy baking an authentic pastry yourself, I’ve got a delicious recipe for Spanakopita pastry here.

Cyprus village salad sesame bread and white wine
A typical village salad with sesame seed bread
Cyprus almond cinnamon crescent
Almond cinnamon crescent
Cyprus almond cinnamon crescent with Cypriot coffee
… with Cypriot coffee
Cyprus mini sausage rolls mini olive pies
Lots of mini pastries, mini sausage rolls and mini olive pies
Cyprus jam pistachio chocolate coconut biscuits
Jam pistachio and chocolate coconut biscuits
Cyprus baklava
And of course baklava
Cyprus olive mint pastry
My favourite: olive and mint pastry
Cyprus chicken and mushroom pastry
Chicken and mushroom pastry
Village bakery breads
Village bakery breads
Cyprus olive and coriander bread
Olive and coriander loaves
Village bakery Zygi Kalavasos
Ourl local village bakery at the Zygi Kalavasos crossing, near Lemasos