A break from regularly scheduled programming today - rather than a round up of lovely links, I'll be telling you all about the #MFMuk recipe swap instead. The lovely Becs of Bitsandbobsandbecs and Fay of Food Fables have taken on the challenge of a meat-free march, forgoing sausages in favour of Stilton - and so they organised a recipe swap amongst their fellow foodies to get a bit more inspiration and help them through to the end of the month.
For some reason, everyone thinks that I'm a vegetarian. I'm not sure whether it's because I'm a leftie, or because I spend a lot of time looking at cute pictures of animals - either way, I often have to assure people of my carnivorous ways. However, although I couldn't live without prawns, and fillet steak is my one true vice, I do love vegetarian food. I would cook it a whole lot more if I didn't live with such a fussy eater who doesn't get the point of a meat-free meal! So I relished the chance to have a go at the recipe which my swap partner, Becs, sent over.
She actually spoilt me and sent over two - this spinach and feta filo pie, and a red thai curry. Thai curry is actually a staple of our weekly menu - albeit with chicken or beef usually included - so I opted for the pie as a little challenge. It's a bit big for just me, so I popped it into the oven and then straight into some tupperware and round to a friend's house for an impromptu lunch date. And I'm pleased to say that it went down a right treat! Despite looking rather complicated, what with the filo and whatnot, it was actually relatively simple and quick to make - and packed a definite flavour punch.
- 2 onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 500g spinach (or 300g frozen)
- grated nutmeg
- 200g feta cheese
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 4 large sheets of filo pastry
- butter for brushing the pastry
1. Cook onions until soft and golden.
2. Add garlic and cook for a further few minutes.
3. Add spinach in batches and cook until wilted. (As an aside, isn't spinach the strangest thing? I never think it will all fit into the pan but somehow the biggest bag wilts down into a normal portion.)
4. Cool and tip into a bowl, leaving behind any excess liquid.
5. Mix in the nutmeg, feta and eggs. Season.
6. Melt a tiny bit of butter and use it to grease a non-stick springform cake tin.
7. Put a sheet of filo in the tin and brush with butter, letting the excess hang over the sides. Repeat with additional sheets, turning a little before adding each sheet. The packet of filo was six sheets and I only used four for this - so any ideas for what I can use the other two sheets for will be gratefully received!
8. When all of the pastry is used up, tip in the filling and fold over the excess pastry to cover. Brush the top with butter.
9. Bake in the over for 20-30 minutes, or until the filo is crisp and golden. Leave for five minutes before serving with a big heap of crunchy salad.
Delicious! As you can see, I tipped in a handful of toasted pine nuts into the filling for a little bit of extra texture. Whilst I was making it, I was thinking that some chestnut mushrooms might go nicely as well, but after actually tasting it, I think it was perfect as it is. So a big, big thank you to Becs and Fay for organising this fun recipe swap - and to Becs for sending me this recipe, definitely one I will bring out again.