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Most of my family live overseas, scattered across different islands and areas of Greece. My grandmother is a very inspirational and wonderful woman. I don’t get to see her much except through the occasional Skype dates that we try to set up. Last year, however I was able to go to Greece to visit her and spend some time with my distant relatives.

This was an experience in itself, not only because of the beautiful scenery and ancient landmarks that are there, but the moments that I shared with my family. For example my grandparents would sit around late in the afternoon telling me stories of their youth as we sat looking into the afternoon sun over the beaches of Greece; but one of the most memorable parts of my trip was having my grandmother teach me the traditional ways of making spanakopita (spinach and cheese pie). 

She showed and taught me all the basics from what to put into the variety of types of pitas that exist e.g. meat, cheese and macaroni etc and how to make and roll out the filo pastry. Trying to roll the filo pastry out together was one of the moments that I will never forget, as it is something I will always remember as “something that my grandmother taught me to do”. I remember her teaching me, so patiently saying (in Greek of course), “start in the middle, and roll and push it out ways…harder…harder…be a little firmer with it…its ok…it wont stick together…”
(the video below is my grandmother demonstrating how to role filo pastry)

Although rolling the filo, making the filling and layering it all up, is quite a long process, the end product is well worth the wait. Every time I make it and eat, it always reminds me of my grandmother and the experiences I had in Greece.

Although I would love to give you all her spanakopita recipe, I honestly cant. As we made it together, I would ask her what to put in it, “how much of this and how much of that” her answers literally were “just put some salt, pepper, feta….” As you can tell not very informative…no exact measurements or quantities…typical Greek style!!! J

So, instead, I have provided you with an alternate and easier recipe, (that doesn’t involve you making filo pastry J) that tastes almost as good as my grandmothers (except the flavours of her love behind her cooking)...

3 bunches of fresh spinach

1 onion (chopped finely)

6-8 spring onions (chopped)

150g feta cheese

35g freshly grated parmesan
1 tablespoon fresh dill (chopped)

1 generous pinch of nutmeg

1/2 cup fresh parsley (chopped)

12 sheets of filo pastry (thawed)

3-4 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted) + some olive oil


1. Trim the stems of spinach and clean them well in cold water. Drain. Roughly chop them and place in a steamer.

2. Steam for 5-8 min or until the leaves are wilted

3. Drain. Squeeze out the excess water from the spinach.

4. Take a skillet and heat 1 tsp of olive oil and sauté the onion until tender.

5. Add the spring onion and cook for another 2-3 min.

6. Remove from heat and then add spinach, herbs, cheeses and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper if required.

7. Preheat oven to 180C. Place the 3 sheets of filo at a time. Mix the butter and 2 tbsp olive oil in a small bowl. Brush each sheet with the butter mixture and lay on top of another.

8. Cut into equal thirds lengthwise.

9. Spoon a little filling on an angle at the end of each strip.

10. Fold the pastry over to enclose the filling to form a triangle.

11. Brush the top lightly with the butter mixture.

12. Place triangles on a baking tray to bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown

The recipe makes approximately 20 smaller individual spanakopitas you can either bake straight away or freeze for a later day. These are perfect for a light lunch with a fresh Greek salad, as a small afternoon snack, or as an entrée to go with your dinner.

I hope you enjoy making and eating these and taste the Greek culture behind our food.

Kali Orexi,
Foodling 1.

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