Spinach & Feta Filo Pie, Cucumber Salad, Tomato Salad, Coated Ice Cream. Yum.
Family home-style cooking makes everything better… so why not try it out with family finger cooking? While we’re at it, let’s drizzle, pound, and then play (with ice-cream) that coated ice cream. Then let’s wrap it together with love. Finally, let’s deserve-it-up with your fingers around the table. Yes, folks, now we’re talking about something worth taking a little time to make right (with family) – because this will take a little to make (worth while the fun). But it’s definitely worth it, so plan your ingredients a day before so you won’t be rushed to make dinner and you can recap the rewards. If you lucky, there might even enough leftovers for lunch the next… Your neighbours will want to know your secrets and smell, that delicious home-cooking over the fence!
Give it ago… Get the family involved… Worth it!
Your ingredients… Yes, I know its a long list but there will be plenty to around and perhaps leftovers for the next day..
SPINACH & FETA PIE
• 100g pinenuts
• 5 eggs
• 300g feta cheese
• 50g Cheddar cheese
• dried oregano
• 1 lemon
• a knob of butter
• 400g prewashed baby spinach
• 1 x 270g pack of filo pastry
• cayenne pepper
• 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
• a small bunch of fresh basil
• 1 clove of garlic
• white wine vinegar
• 300g mixed cherry tomatoes
optional: a small bunch of fresh
COATED ICE CREAM
• 4 tablespoons coffee beans
• 100g hazelnuts
• 1 x 100g bar of good-quality dark
chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
• good-quality vanilla ice cream
TO START Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Turn the oven on to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.Put amedium(approx. 26cm diameter) ovenproof frying pan on a medium heat. Put the standard blade attachment in the food processor.
SPINACH & FETA PIE Put the pinenuts into the dry ovenproof frying pan to toast, tossing occasionally. Keep an eye on them. Crack 5 eggs into a mixing bowl and crumble in 300g of feta. Grate in 50g of Cheddar. Add a pinch of pepper, a couple of pinches of dried oregano, zest
of 1 lemon and a lug of olive oil. Once the nuts are light golden, add them to the egg mixture and mix well.
Put the empty frying pan back on the heat, add a little olive oil and a knob of butter and pile in half of the spinach. Gently push and move it around and add more as it wilts down. Make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom and when there’s room, start adding the rest, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, take the pastry out of the fridge. Lay a large sheet of greaseproof paper, approximately 50cm long, on the worktop, rub a little olive oil all over it, then scrunch it up and lay it out flat again. Arrange 4 filo pastry sheets in a large rectangle, overlapping at the edges, so they almost cover the paper. Rub some olive oil over them. Sprinkle over a good pinch of salt & pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Repeat until you have 3 layers. Don’t worry about any cracked bits. Remember to keep stirring the spinach.
Once the spinach is really nice and dense, take the pan off the heat. Add the wilted spinach to the egg mixture and grate in ½ a nutmeg. Mix well. Carefully move the greaseproof paper and filo into the empty frying pan so the edges spill over. Push it down into the sides of the pan, then pour in the egg mixture and spread it out. Fold the filo sheets over the top and let them fall where they will (see how to video below). Put the pan back on a medium heat for a couple of minutes to get the bottom cooking, then put the pan into the oven on the top shelf to cook for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
CUCUMBER SALAD Run a fork down the length of the cucumber all around it, then halve and quarter it lengthways and cut the quarters across into 1cm chunks. Put them into a mixing bowl and set aside. Drain 10 black olives, squeeze out their stones, and tear them into another bowl. Pour over
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and push down on the olives so the vinegar starts pulling out their saltiness. Trim and finely slice the spring onions, then add to the olives.
Drizzle 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the juice of ½ a lemon into the olive mixture and stir really well. Deseed and finely slice ½ a red chilli and add to the bowl of cucumber. Pick the leaves from the sprigs of mint, finely slice them and add to the cucumber. Pour over the dressing, toss quickly, drizzle over a little more extra virgin olive oil and take to the table.
SPINACH & FETA PIE Check on the pie.
COATED ICE CREAM Pour the coffee beans into a liquidizer and blitz. Add the hazelnuts and blitz to a powder. While that’s going on, really bash the chocolate, still in its wrapper, against the work surface (this works best if it’s straight from the fridge). Unwrap and add to the food processor. Whiz again, then tip into a bowl and put to one side.
TOMATO SALAD Quickly rinse out the liquidizer. Rip the top off the bunch of basil, reserving a few of the smaller leaves, and put into the liquidizer with a pinch of salt & pepper, a peeled clove of garlic, a couple of good lugs of extra virgin olive oil and a splash of white wine vinegar. Whiz until you have a dark green oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Halve or quarter the tomatoes. Pour this dressing over a platter and sit the tomatoes on top. Scatter over some Greek basil leaves or smaller basil leaves and a pinch or two of salt, then take to the table and toss right before serving.
TO SERVE Take the ice cream out of the freezer to soften. Take the pie to the table with your beautiful salads and divide up between your guests. After dinner, take the ice cream to the table with the bowl of powdered topping. Roll a scoop of ice cream in the powder to coat, and eat at once. Store any leftover powder in an airtight container and use another time.
I’d love to hear your thought, so please leave your comments below and have a great day! 🙂
- Recipes for Health: Spinach Salad With Tomatoes, Cucumber and Feta (nytimes.com)
- Weekday Vegetarian: Beet Salad with Apple, Feta and Pine Nuts (treehugger.com)
- 5 Best Money-Saving, Healthy, Homemade Salad Dressings (wisebread.com)