Cuisine – Dinner for a good lunch

The gradual rise in temperature seems to have boosted my efficiency. Over the past month, I have turned the soil and replanted the vegetable garden, fibreglass patched a few cracks in the boat, scrubbed the caravan, spring-cleaned the house, and chopped three months’ worth of firewood for winter. How’s that for productivity? Alongside all this I have been experimenting with pastry fillings. I love pastries because the hard part comes in a packet. They’re simple, they’re tasty, and what you don’t eat for dinner can be taken for lunch the next day. This last part is actually my favourite. There’s nothing like a piece of leftover homemade pie. This latest dish is one I have been making for a Sunday lunch. My small family only eat half of it, so the other half gets turned in to what I call the ‘Dinner for Lunch’. The remaining pie gets neatly cut in to smaller pieces, parcelled, and packed in Monday’s lunchboxes, with some cherry tomatoes on the side. Delish!

Summer Spinach and Feta Pie

2 bunches (approx 750g) of fresh spinach
2 Tb olive oil
1 onion, chopped
8 sheets filo pastry (thawed)
50g melted butter
250g feta, roughly crumbled
4 fresh eggs
1 cup sour cream
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Lashings of freshly ground salt and pepper
1 Tb roughly chopped parsley or dill

Preheat your oven by switching it to bake at 180 degrees. Start by washing all your spinach in cold water. Wilt the spinach quickly in a large saucepan over a medium heat.

Remove spinach from pan and press out any excess liquid using a colander and/or paper towel. Roughly chop and place in a large bowl.

Put your two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Throw in your chopped onion and cook for approximately four minutes or until the onion is soft. Pop the cooked onions in to the bowl with the prepared spinach.

Now you can start playing with the pastry. In a 22cm square, rectangle or similar ovenproof dish (lined with baking paper), place one of your sheets of filo. Let some of the pastry overhang the edges of the dish and trim any excess. Brush your first sheet of filo with the melted butter, then top with another sheet. Repeat the process until all eight layers have been brushed and stacked. Add the feta, parsley, eggs, sour cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper to the spinach and onions and mix. Pour the contents evenly over the pastry base. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. This dish is delectable whether served warm or cold.

Nicola Bolton