Rockpool Bar and Grill Executive Chef, Corey Costelloe takes a Greek classic and gives it an Australian twist with his Spanakopita with Warrigal Greens recipe.
2kg Warrigal greens (see note below) or silverbeet or chard
60 ml olive oil
2 red onions, finely diced
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
100g finely grated parmesan or pecorino4 eggs
½ bunch dill sprigs, chopped
½ bunch mint leaves, chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
375g filo pastry
125g butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350F).
- When picking the warrigal greens try and pick just the leaves and not the stem. It saves you time later not sorting through the stems.
- In a large pot bring salted water to the boil and blanch the warrigal greens in four batches for 30 seconds a time. Refresh each batch in iced water, then drain well.
- Place the blanched greens in tea towels and wring dry of excess water. This process will help the end result of crisp pastry. Once the greens are very dry, roughly chop them and set aside.
- In a frying pan, gently cook the chopped red onion, chopped garlic and chilli flakes in the olive oil until soft. This should take at least 10 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Place the feta in a large bowl and roughly mash with a fork. Add the ricotta, hard cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, dill, mint and spring onions. Mix with the fork to combine. Then mix through the chopped greens and the cooled down red onion mixture until well combined.
- Lightly oil or butter a 20cm x 30cm x 5cm baking dish. Lay the filo out on a work surface. Line the dish with a sheet of filo and brush it with butter. Top with another sheet of filo brushed with butter and continue until about half the filo is used. When not using the filo, cover it with a dry tea towel and then a damp one on top, to keep it from drying out.
- Tip the greens mixture into the filo base and spread out evenly. Layer with the remaining sheets of filo brushed with butter, ensuring the final sheet is well buttered. Trim off any overhanging pastry and tuck in the sides.
Use a sharp knife to score the pastry into diamonds.
- Pierce the pastry once or twice to allow air to escape during baking. Sprinkle lightly with water and bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until well browned.
- Gently shake the baking dish; the spanakopita should slide easily when it is cooked. Cover with foil if it is over-browning. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Warrigal greens can be found on the Australian eastern coastline, in estuaries and waterway parks. If you can’t forage for warrigal greens in your area you can substitute them in this recipe for silver beet or chard.