Growing up in a warm country has meant I have always had a love for Mediterranean inspired food as the idea of sitting in the sun with a white wine spritzer, bowls of juicy olives, sundried tomatoes and a fresh salad totally captures summer and reminds me of the family adventures we had in Greece when I was younger, jumping on the ferries and exploring various islands in this stunning part of the world.
So I was very excited when Expedia ask us to be apart of their World on a Plate Challenge and rustle up little Greek fest at home and despite the recent rainy wether this has not damped our spirit and imagination that through food we can at least get a taste of Mediterranean sunshine.
What I love about Mediterranean food is the nibbles, I think I could literally live off Kalamata Olives and Feta cheese and we indulged in little bowls of mild chilis, sundried tomatoes, roasted peppers and a big family sized Greek salad seasoned in Extra Virgin Olive oil of course. We accompanied this with a glass of some delicious Keramos Red Wine, which went down a treat.
I have been wanting to try out a River Cottage recipe for Spanakopitta - a greek spinach and feta pie but instead of using Filo pastry it uses Puff pastry and is prepared as a large pie rather than small triangles which is slightly better for a hungry family. I love the taste combination of the main ingredients - spinach, feta and pine nuts and reminds me of trying the real deal for the first time in Poros when I was younger.
1kg Froze Whole Leaf spinach
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 finely sliced onion
A few springs of chopped Thyme
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
100gs Greek Feta, broken into small chunks
30g pine nuts
Ready-made Puff Pastry, ideally already rolled - I used the lower fat version and it worked very well.
Sea salt & ground pepper to season
1. Preheat the oven to 200c/gas mark 6. Defrost frozen spinach on a low heat on the hob with a splash of water. Make sure to stir from time to time, until completely defrosted. Once this is done, tip into a colander and drain off all the water.
2. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and add the Cumin seeds, let them cook for a minute or so before adding the onion, saute for 5mins or until golden and soft, then add the thyme.
3. Once spinach has cooled you can now use your hands to squeeze out any remaining water and place in a mixing bowl and combine the onion and herbs as well as some salt and pepper to season. Then add most of the beaten egg (leave over 2-3 teaspoons for gazing) and stir into the spinach and onion mixture.
4. Spoon half the mixture into a pie dish and scatter the feta an pine nuts over before covering with the remaining mixture.
5. Roll out the pastry sheet and lay over the dish and trim off the excess, leaving a little to overhang the rim of the dish. Press the edge down and brush the pie with the remaining beaten egg and bake for around 30mins, until the pastry is puffed and golden. Serve immediately.
|My brother and I in Athens|
We really hope to visit Greece soon as both Mr A and Baby G have never been and its a place I have such wonderful memories exploring as a child, plus the delicious food, wonderful weather and laid back pace of life makes it the perfect place to relax and get away from the rat race.
Thank to Expedia for asking us to be apart of the World on a Plate challenge.