In the Summer it’s nice to have a pastry dish that’s lighter than the traditional hot crust type dish. Filo is the perfect answer to this. And I have never had the nerve to make my own filo pastry, I like the uniformity and flavour of the shop bought filo, and always have used it successfully.
Filo (or phyllo) is a very thin dough made without using yeast. It is primarily used for making pastries such as baklava in Middle Eastern cuisine. Filo-based dishes are, like this one, made by layering many sheets of filo brushed with olive oil or butter after which the pastry is baked.
Feta and vegetable filo pie
1½ tablespoons olive oil
6 sheets ready-rolled filo pastry
300g small leaf spinach, briefly wilted and chopped
200g carrots, peeled and grated
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
50g pine nuts
150g Greek feta cheese, crumbled
3 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to fan 180°C. Brush a round, 20cm loose-based cake tin with a little oil. Layer 3 sheets of the pastry in the base and up the sides of the tin, brushing each sheet with more oil. This can be done using butter, but I think the olive oil gives a lighter flavour.
Squeeze any excess water out of the spinach. Put the spinach in a large bowl and stir in the carrot, parsley, herbes de provence, pine nuts and feta cheese. Add the eggs and season, then mix well until combined. Spoon the spinach mixture into the tin and fold the overhanging pastry over the top of the mixture.
Top with the remaining sheet of pastry, scrunching a little to fit the tin and brushing the top of each with a little oil. Overlap the edges of the base layers with the top to roughly seal the pie. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden and crisp, then cut into wedges to serve.