So if you’ve been reading along this month you’ll notice that I’ve been vegan for the month of January. I’ve learnt a few things and you know what, it actually hasn’t been that bad, for the most part I’ve had some truly delicious food! A lot of the food I’ve been eating has been asian, just because boy do they know how to use their spices to make things interesting so I thought I would try something a little more european in my next recipe… and here was born vegan spanikopita.
You will need:
- 200g Vegan Cream Cheese (if you’re not vegan you can swap this out for a small amount of feta in each parcel)
- 100g Spinach/ Chard
- 2 tbsp Pine nuts (toasted)
- 1 tsp English Mustard
- 1/2 Lemon (juice & zest)
- Brown onion- finely diced
- 2 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
- Dill- roughly chopped
- 1 tsp oregano
- 150g dairy free spread/ margarine/ butter if not vegan
- 1 pack of filo pastry
- salt and pepper to season
- optional sesame seeds
Start by toasting the pine nuts in a dry frying pan on a low heat. Simply keep turning the nuts with a wooden spoon or by moving the pan. When they start to go golden brown you will smell a distinctive popcorn smell as the oils start to come out of the nuts, this is when they’re ready.
Wilt and drain the baby spinach or chard leaves in a covered pan by steaming with the lid and a little water (around 8 tbsp).
In a bowl mix the onion, garlic, lemon zest & juice, mustard, oregano, dill, pine nuts and set aside.
Melt your margarine or butter in a small pan.
Remove your filo pastry from the pack and only keep out the pieces you are working on in that moment as it dries very quickly. I recommend making the parcels 2-3 layers thick; to do this you will need to use a pastry brush to brush melted margarine/ butter between the pastry sheets.
The pastry sheets will be too wide to use as they are so once you have used the melted margarine or butter to get your desired consistency (by brushing on with a pastry brush and layering the next layer of pastry on top) use a pair of scissors to cut down the middle halving the pastry lengthways.
Place a heaped teaspoon of cream cheese in the corner of the parcel, a teaspoon of the onion and herb mixture and a teaspoon of wilted spinach then fold the corner up to create a triangle.
Once folded closed, brush with a little more melted margarine/ butter and optionally sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake in a 160 degree oven until golden brown.
Voila, they’re ready to eat by themselves as a starter or with a side or two as a main. I hope you enjoy, do drop past and give me some feedback. 🙂
Love, M x