Greek lamb and spinach spiral filo pie
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tamara West
This spiral pie looks really impressive and is fun and, despite its appearance, not difficult to put together. Spanakopita (a traditional Greek spinach and feta pie) is sometimes cooked in this shape. For a vegetarian version of this pie I would roast and mash pumpkin and combine it with the spinach and some feta.
- Heat oven to 200C.
- Heat olive oil in a large fry pan on high heat. Cook lamb mince until well-browned, about 5 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper and set aside, keeping the pan on the heat.
- Add onion, garlic, cumin, allspice, oregano, sultanas and pine nuts, and cook until onion is soft, 4-5 minutes.
- Briefly steam or blanch spinach/silverbeet until wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain and squeeze as much excess water out of the steamed spinach as you can — to do this, place in a sieve and push down on spinach with the back of a large spoon. Finely chop spinach and add to the onion mixture along with the lamb mince. Mix together and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Lay a sheet of filo pastry on a clean dry bench and brush it with oil. Place another sheet of filo next to the first sheet, overlapping it by 2.5cm so that you end up with one large sheet of filo twice as long. Brush with oil and repeat layering remaining sheets of filo until it is 6 sheets thick (and 2 sheets long).
- Place spoonfuls of lamb mixture along the long side of the filo, then carefully roll up into a long sausage shape, with the seam-side down. Gently twist into a spiral shape — don’t worry if the filo breaks a bit while you are doing this. Carefully transfer spiral pie to a baking or oven tray. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle over sesame seeds. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and crispy.
To serve, cut into wedges and serve with a fruity or tomato chutney and a Greek side salad of tomato, cucumber, olives, mint and crumbled feta dressed with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil.