Spanakopites Apo Ti Samos (Spinach Pies From Samos)

Course : Greek
Serves: 20
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750 gram fresh spinach -- -or- frozen leaf spinach
1 cup finely chopped spring onions
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped dill or fennel
2 large eggs -- beaten
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
---to finish---
10 sheets filo pastry sheets
1/2 cup olive oil

Preparation / Directions:

OVEN TEMPERATURE: 190C (375F) COOKING TIME: 40 Minutes Wash spinach well and cut off any coarse stems. Chop coarsely and put into a large pan. Cover and place over heat for 7-8 minutes shaking pan now and then or turning spinach with a fork. Heat just long enough to wilt spinach so that juices can run freely. Drain well in a colander, pressing occasionally with a spoon. (If using frozen spinach, defrost, drain well and chop). Place in a mixing bowl. Heat oil in a frying pan and gently fry spring onion until soft. Add oil and onion to spinach with cheese, herbs, eggs and nutmeg. Mix well to combine, then add salt and pepper to taste. Open out fillo pastry sheets and cut in half, giving pieces approximately 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12 inches) in size. Stack and cover with cloth. Take a sheet and brush lightly with oil. Fold in half to make a strip about 10 cm (4 inches) wide. Brush again with oil and spread about 2 tablespoons of filling across one long edge, leaving sides clear of filling. Fold in sides, then roll up firmly. Bend roll round into a coil and place in an oiled baking dish. Repeat with remaining ingredients, placing in one layer in the baking dish. Brush tops lightly with oil and bake in a moderately hot oven for 25 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot or cold as an appetizer or light meal. If serving cold, use butter instead of olive oil unless your oil is of high quality. Source: The Complete Middle East Cookbook - by Tess Mallos ISBN: 1 86302 069 1

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