Friday, January 16, 2009

Little spanakopita with rice

Little spanakopita with rice
Spanakopita is a classic Greek pie with crisp filo pastry, and a feta and spinach filling.
Preparation Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time 45 minutes
Makes 4
* 1/2 cup (100g) basmati rice
* 2 x 150g bags baby spinach leaves
* 100g feta, crumbled
* 50g parmesan, finely grated
* 1/2 cup firmly packed coarsely chopped dill
* 5 green onions, finely chopped
* 3 organic free-range eggs, lightly beaten
* 50g sesame seeds, plus 1 tbs extra
* 12 sheets fresh filo pastry, halved widthways
* 50g butter, melted, or 2 1/2 tbs olive oil
* 1 tsp nigella seeds, black sesame seeds or poppy seeds, optional
* Lemon wedges, to serve

1. Rinse rice under cold running water until water runs clear. Place in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to boil over medium heat, cover, then reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Set aside, covered.
2. Meanwhile, place spinach in a heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water, then drain immediately. Refresh in cold water, drain and squeeze to remove water. Coarsely chop spinach and combine with rice, cheeses, dill, onions, eggs and sesame seeds. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a filo half with melted butter and place in a buttered 11cm springform tin. Repeat layering, brushing alternate layers with butter, to make 6 layers. Place 1/4 of rice mixture in tin, then fold in fi lo to enclose filling, scrunching on top. Brush with butter, then scatter with extra sesame seeds and nigella seeds, if using. Repeat with remaining ingredients in 3 more tins.
4. Place tins on an oven tray. Bake on lowest shelf of oven for 30 minutes or until cooked, covering with baking paper for last 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Notes & tips
* Hint: You could use Texas muffin tins or any 1 1/2 cup (375ml) capacity ovenproof dishes or pie tins to make these pies.
* Low fat tip: Unlike other types of pastry, filo has virtually no fat, only what you add. To minimise fat in these pies, use an olive oil spray instead of melted butter to grease the fi lo and replace 1/2 the feta with low-fat ricotta.

Recipe by Sophia Young


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