Spring in a Pie

Finnish people go nuts for asparagus in the Spring. And they do have a point; those long, green goodies taste awesome in a pie, accompanying a steak or just boiled with a knob of butter. But as always, I don’t like to be too mainstream, I don’t like to do or wear what everybody else is doing or wearing. And it applies to food as well; instead of asparagus I’ve gone a bit nuts for spinach.

My main lunch item at work is usually a spinach and feta cheese pastry. I never grow tired of it, it’s just too good. And one day I was flicking through programs available on telly and put on some Jamie Oliver. I don’t usually like to mimic his cooking because he has too many, often weird and unusual ingredients in his recipes: each ingredient or spice costs money and since I rarely cook anyway, I don’t want to get all those rare herbs and spices to waste space from my limited drawers. But this time he made something that was easy and only had five main ingredients + salt, pepper and a little butter. And I found myself thinking: I could do that!

I am basically a vegetarian these days. I don’t cook meat, I don’t see the point of paying for a piece of meat when it’s just me who needs feeding and I can do with a lot less. Eggs are my main source of protein these days and why not. Also, the vegetarian options are so much easier to cook: it doesn’t matter if everything isn’t completely cooked through, you won’t get a lethal virus from it, it’s just a bit crunchier.  And obviously when Jamie Oliver had come up with a simple recipe combining all of my favourite things - eggs and spinach and feta cheese - I simply had to try it! But as always I simplified it a bit. 

Feta & Spinach Pie by Jamie Oliver:

100g pinenuts (or sunflower seeds)
5 eggs
300g feta cheese
50g cheddar cheese
dried oregano, black pepper, some cayanne pepper according to taste
1 lemon
400g prewashed baby spinach
1 x 270g pack of filo pastry

Put the pinenuts into a dry ovenproof frying pan to toast. Crack 5 eggs into a mixing bowl and crumble in 300g of feta. Grate in cheddar, add a pinch of pepper and oregano. Once the nuts are light golden, add them to the egg mixture with lemon zest, a splash of olive oil and mix well. Add a little olive oil on the frying pan and a knob of butter and pile in the spinach. Meanwhile, take the filo pastry out and get a 50cm piece of greaseproof paper. Spread it on a work top, rub olive oil on it and arrange 4 filo pastry sheets on it rectangularly, so they almost cover the paper. Make 3 layers of pastry with olive oil between the layers. Mix the wilted spinach to the egg mixture. Carefully lift the greaseproof paper with the filo pastry into the empty frying pan so the edges spill over, then pour in the egg mixture. Fold the filo sheets over the top and let them fall where they will. Put the pan into oven (200C) on the top shelf to cook for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve with a fresh salad.


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