My love for spinach and leek pie runs deep and I’m not even Greek. I could honestly eat it all day every day. Whenever I eat at Greek restaurants, I always order spanikopita. In fact, whenever we are holidaying in Greece, it’s part of my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I love the flakey crust and the rich, warm, spinach filling. And have we, not all burnt our tongues because we didn’t wait for them to cool down!
Fear not, this recipe is healthy, easy to make, and totally delicious. These leek and spinach pies are vegetarian-friendly and the perfect picnic food. Make these in batches and freeze them uncooked just like my signature spicy lamb pastries so they can be enjoyed at a later date.
Preheat the fan-forced oven to 180°. For the leek, slice off the dark green leaf and discard. Slice the leek in half lengthways and wash thoroughly. Place both halves cut side down, and slice thinly (moon shape) using a circular motion.
To prepare the filling, heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and sauté the onion and leek until translucent. Add the spinach and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until wilted. Place the spinach mixture in a sieve. Using the back of a large spoon, press the excess liquid from the spinach. Transfer to a bowl and cool.
Add the cheese to the onion mixture and stir to combine.
For large pies, simply place one sheet of puff pastry on baking paper. Pile half of the spinach mixture on one side of the pastry sheet, leaving a border of approximately 2.5 cm all around the edges. Fold over the filling and press the edges together. Seal the edges with a fork. Repeat the process with the second puff pastry sheet.
To freeze, line a tray that fits into your freezer with baking paper. Arrange the uncooked pies on it making sure they don’t touch. Freeze overnight. Once frozen, place the pies in a plastic bag or wrap with cling wrap and place back into the freezer.
To cook, place the pies on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden in colour and puffy. Enjoy them warm.
Step. 4 (if making small pies)
For small pie pockets, cut each of the 4 puff pastry sheets into 3 even strips crosswise and lengthwise, making 9 smaller squares. Make sure the squares are well-floured if you are going to stack them in a little pile.
Place approximately 1 tablespoon of the spinach and cheese mixture in the middle of each square. Fold the squares over the filling to form triangles and gently press the edges together. Use a fork to seal the edges.
To cook, place the mini pies on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden in colour and puffy. Enjoy them warm.