Find your paintbrush and green stuff!

It took a few days for me to work out what my 3 year old was wanting us to cook together.  He would tell me the name of the recipe and it would be followed by me asking ‘sorry I didn’t quite get that, can you say it again?’ and we would repeat this a few times until he got bored and we would go back to pretending to be firemen.  Then one day he was watching Playschool and he yelled for me to come and look at what they were cooking. “This is what I want to make.  We need sheep’s milk, eggs, green stuff and my paint brush.” 

SPANAKOPITA.  Yes it’s a pretty tricky word for a 3 year old.  Even at 35 I’m having trouble pronouncing it.

Ok so you might be thinking that spanakopita isn’t the healthiest food to have on a nutrition website but this post is more about getting your children involved in cooking and showing them how you can make tasty food at home from scratch.  Spanakopita is a versatile food that is yummy warm from the oven and equally tasty the next day cold from the fridge.  Maybe one day I will mess about and try to make a healthier version, but for the moment I am under the watchful eye of Mr 3 who wants me to follow Playschool’s recipe down to a T.

Ingredients

•    1 onion or shallot
•    a big big bunch of spinach, washed and squeezed dry to remove excess water
•    oil for frying (I prefer coconut oil)
•    50g feta
•    100g ricotta
•    1 egg
•    a few pinches of nutmeg
•    filo pastry
•    melted butter for brushing the filo

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Chop onion and spinach finely.
  3. Heat your frying pan and add the oil.  Saute the onion for 2-3 minutes and then add your spinach.  Cook for a few minutes until the spinach is soft and wilted.  Squeeze the mixture with a spatula to remove liquid.
  4. In a bowl crumble your feta and mix with the ricotta, egg and nutmeg.  Add the spinach and onion mixture and combine well.
  5. Place a sheet of filo pastry on your chopping board and brush with melted butter.  Lay another pastry sheet on top of this and brush again with butter.  Repeat this one more time.
  6. Spoon the cheese and spinach mixture along one edge of the pastry.  Fold the pastry over the mixture and roll this to create a sausage shape.  Then gently coil the pastry round and round to form a snail.
  7. Place the spanakopita on a greased oven tray using a large spatula and brush lightly with melted butter and bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.