Zacchary Bird
Zacchary Bird
Quirky, indulgent vegan recipes.

This super versatile recipe draws on the traditional greek spinach and cheese pastry, but the versatility comes from the fact that it's so breezy to substitute all sorts of greens in for the classic spinach version - silverbeet, kale, green beans, even okra! I love baking this dish especially as you can fit such a huge volume of pure greens into each serve once it has all wilted down for the filling. My favourite combination is spinach and green beans, but the tanginess of the feta and the buttery crispness of the phyllo means you can pop in whatever you like and it'll still come out of the oven tasting brilliant.

Many frozen phyllo (and shortcrust/puff pastry) brands use margarine instead of butter, meaning that you can make this with ingredients available at most supermarkets these days! Be sure to scroll down to see my tips on how to work with your phyllo dough to ensure the crispiest result ever. If you can't find vegan feta near you (I recommend brands that use almonds or macadamia nuts as a base), then almond meal processed with lemon juice, olive oil and a dash of apple cider vinegar will do the trick.

SPANAKOPITA

INGREDIENTS

FILLING

  • 1 large onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 shallots
  • 200g green beans (optional - replace with more spinach or kale if leaving out)
  • 500g fresh spinach
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 level tablespoons VeganEgg (this could be substituted with besan/chickpea flour)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 150g vegan feta cheese (reserve brine)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive Oil

PASTRY

  • 10 sheets frozen phyllo dough (defrosted as per package instructions)
  • 4+ tablespoons of vegan butter

 

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Coat large baking pan in butter and set aside.
  • Finely chop onion, garlic, shallots and green beans. In a large pot, fry the onion for 2 minutes in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add green beans and fry for about 3 more minutes. Give the contents a good stir, before adding the garlic, and then on top all of the spinach and another tablespoon of olive oil. Stir occasionally until all spinach has wilted and squeeze over the lemon juice before removing from heat.
  • In a bowl, whisk the VeganEgg powder with the cold water. Pour this onto the spinach mixture and add a good dash of the brine or oil that the feta comes in.
  • Chop the feta into small cubes or chunks and chop the dill, reserving a pinch of chopped dill to use as a garnish. Add both ingredients to the spinach mixture and mix well.
  • To prepare the pastry, melt the remaining butter. Lay your first phyllo sheet in the pan and splatter with butter, before repeating so that you have 6 sheets as the base for the spanakopita. Over this base, pour the spinach mixture and evenly spread. 
  • In a similar fashion to the phyllo buttering and layering process for the base, add four more sheets of phyllo to the top of the filling, sprinkling and spreading the butter between each sheet. Place in oven for 40 minutes, sprinkling extra parmesan on the top for the last 5 minutes of baking. To serve, allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before sprinkling the remaining chopped dill on top and slicing.
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TIPS

  • Instead of fully brushing the pastry, splatter each phyllo sheet with butter and then spread that to avoid over-saturating your sheets.
  • Make sure the butter is melted, but not too hot when splattering between each phyllo sheet.