One of Greece's best known dishes, this pie can be served as a side dish or a main dish. Tablespoons of the same mixture can be used to fill tiropetes; little triangles folded from 7cm strips cut from filo sheets, brushed with clarified butter then baked for 10-15 minutes.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced spring onions
1/2 cup diced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup diced fresh dill
325g feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup cottage cheese, if needed
3 eggs, lightly whisked
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
18 sheets filo pastry, thawed in the refrigerator if frozen
1/2 cup clarified unsalted butter, melted
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Remove the stems from the spinach, cut the leaves coarsely and rinse well in several changes of water. Drain and set aside.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the spring onions and sauté until tender; about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the spinach to the same frying pan and place over high heat. Cook the spinach turning with tongs or a fork until wilted; about 4 minutes. (The leaves will wilt in their own moisture.) Transfer to a sieve and drain well pressing out the excess moisture with the back of a spoon.
Cut the spinach coarsely then add to the spring onions. Stir in the parsley, dill and feta cheese. If the feta is salty add the cottage cheese to mellow the overall flavour. Add the eggs and nutmeg and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Butter 28cm x 40cm baking dish. Remove the filo sheets from their packet, lay them flat on a work surface then cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out. Lay a filo sheet in the prepared dish and brush it lightly with the butter. Top with 8 more filo sheets, brushing each one with butter.
Spread the spinach mixture evenly over the filo layers. Then top with the remaining 9 filo sheets, again brushing each sheet lightly with the butter, including the top sheet.
Cover and refrigerate the pie for 30 minutes so the butter will set.
Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 180 degrees C.
Using a sharp knife, cut the pie into 16 equal pieces. Bake until golden brown; about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Recut the pieces and serve hot.