Spanakopita with chard and leeks recipe image

Print Spanakopita with chard and leeks

A buttery, flaky, light Greek pie filled with greens, herbs and feta. It's traditionally made with spinach, but chard and leeks are a very good alternative. This is slightly time-consuming but very straight-forward to put together and is great as a starter, main course or part of a mezze spread. Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

Ingredients

  • 500g chard, tough stalks removed
  • 2 tbsp oil for frying, e.g. vegetable or sunflower
  • 500g leeks, trimmed, sliced in half lengthways, then shredded
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g ricotta (or cottage cheese)
  • 200g feta
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • Handful fresh dill, chopped
  • 250g packet filo pastry
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and blanch the chard leaves for 2 minutes. Drain, plunge into cold water to stop the cooking and keep the colour, then drain again.
  2. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out any excess liquid with your hands, then roughly chop the leaves.
  3. Heat the oil and fry the leeks for 6 minutes. Add the garlic and mint and fry for 2 minutes. Leave to cool, then mix in the chopped chard.
  4. Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
  5. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Stir in the ricotta, crumble in the feta, then add the veg and herbs and stir gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Remove the filo from the packet and lay it out. Cover with a clean, slightly damp tea towel to stop it drying out. Brush the bottom of the dish with a little butter.
  7. Lay out a sheet of filo on your work surface and brush with a little melted butter. Lay inside the baking dish; you want some overhanging. Repeat with half the filo, buttering each layer as you go.
  8. Spoon in the filling and even it out. Lay over the rest of pastry, brushing each sheet as before. Tuck in the edges and brush with butter to seal.
  9. Sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Bake for about 40 minutes, depending on your oven, until golden and crispy.
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