Spring time spanakopita with spinach, foraged wild garlic, nettles and garlic mustard.Jump to Recipe
I decided to add some flowers and herbs between the top two sheets of filo pastry to look like a stained glass pattern. Once baked you can see a faint pattern.
It is more noticeable to the eye, but hard to capture on camera.
This pie came about thanks to some sorry looking ingredients in the fridge that needed using up.
There was spinach, a half zested lemon a leek and some herbs that had to be used so i deiced on this pie as i had feta and filo.
I only had half a bag of spinach, so decided to bulk up the greens with some foraged wild garlic and nettles from our walk and it was delicious.
During lock down i have been baking a lot of pies as a way to use left overs in the fridge. All the ingredients in this were past their best and begging to be used and i thought of a spanakopita.
I am a bit obsessed with using edible flowers at the moment and used some to decorate another pie here.
Spring time Spanakopita
Layers of filo are placed in a tin then the filling is added and a few more layers of pastry are added on top.
A great fuss free pie.
Apart from frying off the onion, leek and greens there is very little effort.
When foraging for stinging nettles in spring, pick only the small, top few leaves. Wear gloves when picking or handling them.
The nettles have to be boiled or steamed so they no longer sting, then they are safe to handle. see some tips here
Nettles are packed with iron, and have a similar flavour to spinach, so i often use them in spring in recipes that call for spinach.
If you are not fond of nettles then just use spinach.
The wild garlic and garlic mustard added a lovely flavour and went will with the parsley and dill and lemon zest. If wild garlic or ramps are no longer available you can use a garlic clove.
The harsh light that always shines in this room at dinner time, was perfect to show how the flowers look in the pastry. It looks like an embroidered handkerchief.
Spring time spanakopita before baked
Before the spring time spanakopita is baked you can see the stained glass design really well.
It was an experiment so i was not sure how it would look once baked.
Pansy, calendula, wild garlic, nettles and herbs are arranged in a pattern.
I know from other edible flower experiments that yellow and orange flowers hold their colour well in the heat of the oven.
Spring time spanakopita Once baked
Once baked the flaky pasty reveals the beauty underneath. I don’t know if its just me, but i think its really beautiful.
It looks so fragile on the outside and broken but you can just see its beauty trying to show through.
To remind me not to judge things by what they look like on the outside, as beauty lies within.
Sorry for getting philosophical. Lock down has given me too much time to think.
I adapted a spinach spanakopita recipe and added wild garlic and nettles.
Spring time spanakopita
- 1 small onion ( i used a red onion)
- 2 spring onions (green onions)
- 1 large leek
- 350 g fresh spinach and nettles (or just spinach) blanch nettles first.
- 200 g feta
- zest of half a lemon
- black pepper
- small bunch of dill
- small bunch of parsley
- 7 wild garlic leaves (I added some garlic mustard leaves also) washed (or a clove of garlic)
- a few scrapings of fresh nutmeg
- 150g ricotta (half a tub)
- fresh shop bought filo pastry
- melted butter or olive oil for brushing
- sesame seeds for top optional
- 1 egg (optional)
- Finely chop the onion and leek and spring onion and add in a pan with some olive oil and saute until the onions are soft and just starting to colour.
- Finely chop the herbs and wild garlic and add to the pan with the spinach and nettles.(NOTE wash and blanch nettles first to remove the sting if you are using them, i add them to a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes then drain and squeeze out excess water.
- Remove from heat, add lemon zest, black pepper, ricotta and mix. crumble the feta and mix in with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add a few scrapings of nutmeg and some salt and mix. (you can add a beaten egg also to the filling if you wish)
- Preheat oven to 180c 350f
- Open packet of filo dough and place under a tea towel so it doesn't dry out while you prepare the pie.Brush a layer of filo with melted butter or olive oil and place in a 9 inch tin, then continue adding three more sheets.
- Add filling then brush three more sheets and place on top. I you would like to add the flower pattern brush a sheet of filo then add flowers and herbs and place another sheet on top and press together. place on top and ruffle the overhanging edges. Brush the top with melted butter or oil and sprinkle around some sesame seeds.
- Bake for approx 35 minutes until golden.