Until just a few hours ago, I'd never heard of Meatless Monday. I know I know. What vegetarian hasn't heard of Meatless Monday?! A luddite like me, that's who.
I was over at Veggie Mama's blog drooling over her Roasted Corn Salsa and my eye caught the "linky" thing at the end of the post about the "Meatless Monday" thing.
Hmmm, Meatless Monday. What's that. And what on earth is a linky?
The technical jargon was just too much for me so I sought the wisdom of Veggie Mama herself and she kindly enlightened me. Meatless Monday is a worldwide movement and non-profit initiative to encourage people to reduce their meat consumption by 15%. Blogs like Veggie Mama have got on board with this and provide a tool for other bloggers to share posts of their Meatless Monday meals, which of course must be... meatless!
The classic Greek dish Spanakopita contains no meat. It's a hearty, healthy spinach and cheese pie that goes really well with Greek salad and a cold beer. I have many spanakopita recipes, all of which I will eventually post here on my new-born blog. But today I'd like to share with you my rustic, chunky spanakopita. It uses a combination of onion and shallots in the filling which gives it a lovely earthy sweetness.
Rustic Chunky Spanakopita (Spinach and Cheese Pie)
Makes 6–8 portions
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 or 4 shallots, diced
- 400g frozen chopped spinach
- 300g fresh ricotta*
- 180g Greek feta cheese, roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 sheets of thick filo pastry or 6 sheets of regular filo
- Olive oil for brushing filo
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Fry the onion and shallots over low heat, stirring occasionally for around 20 minutes, or until golden.
- Meanwhile, combine the cheeses, dill, eggs and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix well.
- Heat the frozen spinach in a saucepan with the lid on. When cooked, strain as much water from the spinach as possible and add the spinach to the cheese mixture. Mix in well by cutting through the mixture with a spatula or fork.
- Grease a small to medium but high-sided baking dish with olive oil. Lay one sheet of filo in the dish and brush with olive oil. Make sure there is plenty of pastry hanging over the edges of the dish – this will be used to cover the pie afterwards. If your tray is too large to allow for the overhang, use two sheets of pastry side by side and slightly overlapping each other, to broaden the coverage of pastry.
- Repeat with two more sheets (or 4 more if you have a larger dish), brushing between each sheet with olive oil.
- Pour cheese and spinach mixture into dish and use overhanging pastry sheets to cover the mixture in a suitably rustic way. Rough as you like really.
- Pierce the pastry several times with a knife to allow steam to escape, and bake at 180 degrees celsius for 45 minutes, or until top is golden and crusty.