Spanakopitta strudel

Another recipe adapted from the trusty old Good Housekeeping Step by Step Vegetarian Cookbook. According to Anita Bean, there’s no place for pastry in an athlete’s diet, but I haven’t been very athletic lately so I don’t care. And pastry’s nice, innit?

I’ll post the original recipe but my adaptation included mushrooms I needed to use up and some goat’s cheese and some other cheese that I’ve forgotten the name of that my mum brought me back from France. She actually brought it back for The Meat Eater but I stole it to cook with as there wasn’t any vegetarian feta in Sainsburys.

I was going to take a “before” photo but I’d brought my camera downstairs to the kitchen without the memory card and was too lazy to go back upstairs to get it before putting the strudel in the oven, so here’s what it looked like after it had been cooked.

Fresh out of the oven
Fresh out of the oven

And it didn’t fall apart when I cut it, hurrah.

An intact strudel
An intact strudel

And here it is on the plate with some nice healthy vegetables that I made very unhealthy by smothering them with butter.

Slightly overcooked broccoli, yum
Slightly overcooked broccoli, yum

Spanakopitta strudel (serves 4-6)

5 large sheets filo pastry

1 red onion

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

10 ml (2 tsp) ground coriander

2.5 ml (½ tsp) each ground cumin and cinnamon

10 ml (2 tsp) dried oregano

450 g (1 lb) frozen leaf spinach, thawed

175 g (6 oz) feta cheese, crumbled

15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh mint

salt and pepper

25 g (1 oz) ground almonds

25 g (1 oz) fresh breadcrumbs

  1. Peel and finely chop the onion.  Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion, garlic, spices and oregano and fry gently for 5 minutes to soften.  Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Drain the spinach and squeeze out all excess liquid, then add to the onion mixture.  Stir in the feta, mint and seasoning to taste; set aside.
  3. Melt 25 g (1 oz) of the butter in a clean frying pan, add the ground almonds and breadcrumbs and stir-fry over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until golden.
  4. Melt the remaining butter in a small pan.  Lay one sheet of filo pastry on a clean surface, brush with a little butter, then sprinkle over a quarter of the crumb mixture.
  5. Repeat these layers, brushing each pastry layer with butter and finishing with the final sheet of filo pastry.  Brush the top sheet with butter.
  6. Carefully spread the spinach mixture over the filo pastry, leaving a clear 2.5 cm (1 inch) border around the edge.
  7. Roll up from a short end, like a Swiss roll.  Carefully transfer to a baking sheet, making sure the seam is underneath.
  8. Brush with the4 remaining butter and bake at 200C (400F) Mark 6 for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp.  Leave to stand for a few minutes then cut into slices.
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