‘Oh no, not the same salad again!’ complained my teenager the other day. ‘Can’t we have something different?’ Obviously he’s been far too spoilt with interesting meals during his childhood and so the past six months of the same old thing every week has taken its toll!!
For these past months my mind has been immersed in first century Samaria as I finished the first draft of my novel. Like running a race, the end is the hardest and I had no creativity left in my brain to expend on something as trivial as interesting dinners. Every week it’s been pretty much the same: Sunday – leftovers and salad, Monday – frozen fish and salad, Tuesday – chicken curry, Wednesday – steak and salad, Thursday – lentil vegetable soup, Friday – Thai takeaway, and then finally to Saturday where at last we had something interesting – Spanakopita.
Every Saturday morning I head off early to the local market to stock up on homemade hummus, labneh, olives, and fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables. Even there I have a set route, racing around to gather what I need before my spin class. Then it’s home for a relaxed coffee and a bagel on the balcony before I finally enter the kitchen for the one meal a week that I actually enjoy spending a bit of time on.
I love pulling out the lush bunches of spinach, dill and mint – all that green makes a dietitian’s heart sing! And knowing that this is a guaranteed way to get my husband to eat spinach only adds to the enjoyment of making this dish. It is very easy: simply pan fry onion and garlic, add the chopped spinach and once wilted, add chopped herbs, eggs and feta. Then pile it into the filo pastry laced with extra virgin olive oil and bake. I serve it with that ‘same’ boring salad of the sweetest grape tomatoes, baby cucumber, avocado and capsicum dressed with plenty of balsamic vinegar. Delicious.
1 large onion, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 bunches spinach, chopped
1 bunch mint, chopped
1 bunch dill, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
200g feta cheese, crumbled or chopped (I use Dodoni feta)
8 sheets filo pastry
Extra virgin olive oil
Gently fry onion and garlic in olive oil until clear. Add spinach and cook on medium heat until wilted. (Don’t over cook or you will lose that lovely green colour.)
Remove from heat and add eggs, mint, dill and feta.
Smear a large baking dish with olive oil. Lay over two sheets of filo. Smear with a little olive oil. Lay over two more sheets.
Pile spinach mixture into dish and top with two more sheets of filo, olive oil and a final two sheets. Smear top with a little olive oil.
Bake at 180C for 40 minutes.