Wild garlic, despite looking all woodland glade gentle and innocent, is a powerful flavour. It can be tricky to judge how much is too much as I’ve learned the hard way a few times. Having been gifted a massive bag of the stuff by a generous person via Twitter, I was set to smell of it for the foreseeable. If handled with care however, the slightly bitter, ‘green’ garlic flavour can be damn tasty.
There’s no doubt that I put too much garlic in this pie, but you don’t have to. Just use a handful, and you’ll be set. It’s a pie I’ve made many times, a spinach and feta combination and one that I’m a little bit obsessed with to the point where I start walking faster as I approach my house, burst through the front door, strip off coat and cardigan, fling handbag, dash to the fridge and, literally, start tearing and scooping mouthfuls out of the tin with my hands. There have been late-night Nigella-esque dressing gown moments too, though the consumption is less watch-me-eat-this-slowly but more…Homer Simpson let loose on a doughnut buffet.
Spinach is my doughnut, what can I say.
So this is a bit like a spanakopita or borek, with a pungent British twist. I used some pastry I bought in Khan’s but the safest thing to do is to use filo. I’ve made the pie a hundred times before so I can assure you that filo will work.
Eat in the SUNSHINE (woo!) with a chilly glass of crisp white.
Spinach, Wild Garlic and Feta Pie
600g spinach, tough stalks trimmed
1 handful wild garlic, or more if you’re into that kind of thing
4 spring onions, finely sliced
Small handful dill, chopped
1 x 275g pack filo pastry
Olive oil, for brushing (or clarified butter, bit more naughty so I’ll leave that up to you)
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
Nigella seeds, for sprinkling
Fills a tin approx 13 x 1.5″
Wash the spinach really thoroughly and when it is still wet, roughly chop it and put it into a large pan on a low heat. Put a lid on and let it wilt down. There should be enough water clinging to it to cook it. Stir occasionally. Once wilted, spread out on a plate to cool. Once cool, squeeze as much water out as possible and roughly chop again.
Chop the wild garlic and mix with the spinach and spring onions. Crumble in the feta and ricotta. Lightly beat the eggs and add them also along with some salt and pepper (careful with the salt due to the feta, it may not need any at all). Mix well.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Brush the tin with oil. Get the pastry out and keep it under a damp tea towel while you work with it, to stop it drying out. Start layering the sheets in the pan, letting each hang over the sides, until the whole base is covered with about 5 layers. Add the filling and fold in the sides, then add another 6 or so layers of pastry on top, again brushing them with oil. Brush the top with oil and sprinkle on a few sesame and nigella seeds.
Cook for approx 35 mins, or until golden brown and crisp. Let it cool before serving, it mellows considerably. I also think it eats better the next day.