I do love food that comes in edible packing, so spanokopitas have always been amongst my favourite snack foods. The only thing curbing my enthusiasm for these at the moment is my resolution to go easy on fats, and to be honest, it’s a bit depressing. The joy of Filo pastry has to be its wonderful ability to soak up butter and oil, and reward you with a golden texture that shatters into delicious crunchy shards with every bite. So I figured I would have to steer clear of my favourite Greek snacks, until I realised that you could make a lighter version which still tasted great but didn’t come with all the clag.
Now, I know some cooks would rather eat their own arms than use a low calorie cooking spray, but I think they’re great if you’re trying to cut down on fat and oil. So instead of washing the sheets of filo in butter and oil in the traditional fashion, my version uses olive oil spray instead. The result is still crisp and golden, but the whole experience is lighter (and leaner in the long run, I hope) Makes 10-12
200g frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and well drained
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 big handfuls of wild garlic leaves, rinsed and chopped
Olive oil cooking spray
200g light feta, crumbled
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
240g filo pastry
1 tsp sesame seeds
Heat oven to 190 degrees
Spray a small frying pan with olive oil spray, add the chopped onion and wild garlic and saute until translucent. Set aside and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, mix the chopped, drained spinach, feta, egg and dill, add the onion and garlic mixture and season with salt and pepper..
Lay out a sheet of filo pastry and spray with olive oil spray. Flip it over and spray the other side. Cut lengthways down the middle of the sheet so you have two strips 10-12cms wide.
Measure 2 tbsp of the spinach mixture and place it in the middle of the strip 2 cms up from the bottom. Fold the bottom left hand corner of the strip over the filling and up to the right to make a triangle, then fold up again to the left. Continue folding to the top of the sheet until you have a tidy triangular parcel.
Repeat with the rest of the filo sheets until the filling mixture is finished, then lay the spanokopitas onto a greased baking sheet. Spray with a thin mist of olive oil and scatter with sesame seeds.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and leave to cool a little before eating