We have just returned from a couple of weeks in Greece, to the cold, autumnal weather here! So I thought I would give you some Greek inspiration this week. One of my favourite Greek dishes is Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie) and I have to confess that I often buy the large frozen one when visiting Costco as it is such good value!
Odysea is THE company for feta and other Greek cheeses and the range is widely available in most supermarkets. The other products such as honey, olives and all manner of yummy deli items are delicious. The website has a host of great recipes too and this is where I have sought inspiration for this week’s column
Spanakopita is quite easy to make – ideally with filo, but I have made it successfully with puff pastry. Add a nice salad and you have flavour memories of summer on your plate! The recipe for the cheese sticks would work with feta if you can’t locate Manouri (but Waitrose stocks it at £2.50)
Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie) A recipe by Vali Manuelides
1⁄2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
200g feta cheese
1 kg spinach, blanched, strained
well & roughly chopped
150g onion, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 small leek, finely chopped
2 medium eggs
1 tbsp plain flour
1 soup spoon dill, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
Approx 10 sheets filo pastry
Extra Olive Oil to brush pastry
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Put olive oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add onions, spring onions and leeks and sauté in the oil until transparent, taking care not to let them turn brown.
Add flour, stir and add spinach, stir again to mix well, cook for a few seconds then add the dill, sugar, pepper and salt. Set aside.
In a bowl, mash together feta cheese and eggs then add to the spinach mixture (be careful not to add too much salt as the feta is quite salty and spinach tends to
Lightly brush a flat oven-proof dish (approx 28cm diameter in size) with olive oil.
Add 5 layers of filo pastry, brushing each one with oil. Put spinach and feta mixture on top and spread over the pastry. Top with another 5 layers of filo pastry, again brushing each sheet with oil.
Take a sharp knife and score diagonally across the top to form diamond shapes, be careful not to cut too deep. Brush again with plenty of olive oil.
Place in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden.
Sesame Coated Manouri Cheese Sticks A recipe by Eugenia Makrogianneli
Manouri is perfect for frying as it retains its shape really well. It’s buttery, creamy texture perfectly contrasts with the crispy, sesame coating in this recipe. We’ve served ours drizzles with thyme honey but it would work equally well with a savoury dip.
200g Odysea Manouri Cheese PDO cut in strips
50 ml milk
50 g sesame seeds
20 g black sesame seeds
All purpose flour for coating
Salt and pepper
Olive oil for shallow frying
Odysea Wild Thyme & Herb Honey for serving
Beat the egg in a deep bowl and add milk, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
Dip the manouri pieces in the flour to cover all sides then dip into the egg & milk mix and finally dip into the sesame seeds to coat.
Heat the oil in a shallow frying pan on a medium setting and when hot add the pieces of coated manouri.
Fry for 2 minutes each side until golden.
Serve with honey.
There are loads more great Greek recipes at odysea.com