The thing I love about filo pastry is that its uses are endless. Savoury, sweet, dinner-party worthy or casual afternoon tea, filo is a wonderful ingredient to have on hand.
This recipe is my play on the traditional Greek favourite, spanakopita. It combines the earthy flavour of a mish-mash of market mushrooms with chopped cavolo nero and ricotta. It is given a flavour boost from finely zested lemon, spring onion, parsley, baby capers, and little pops of sweetness from golden raisins. All of this wrapped up snugly in a crispy filo casing. This recipe is a crowd-pleasing midweek supper and the leftovers make a great lunchbox fillers.
180g cavolo nero, finely chopped*
180g mixed mushrooms, I used button, king brown, and oyster
250g ricotta cheese
1 tbsp baby capers, rinsed
2 spring onions, white and green parts chopped
Zest of ½ lemon
1 large handful of fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp golden raisins, or regular raisins
1 tbsp mixed dried herbs, such as thyme, oregano, rosemary, or sage
Walnut oil, for brushing**
10 sheets of filo pastry
Freshly ground black pepper
*SPINACH, CHARD OR KALE CAN ALSO BE USED
**OLIVE OIL OR MELTED BUTTER CAN ALSO BE USED
Preheat oven to 200C
Gently wilt the chopped cavolo nero in a pan with a little olive oil. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
Roughly chop the mushrooms, leaving some quite chunky. Heat a little olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add mushrooms. Cook until tender. Add to the bowl with the cavolo nero.
To the bowl add ricotta, capers, onions, lemon zest, chopped parsley, and raisins. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Take a cake tin and rub all over with a little butter.
For the filo, place the pastry on a clean work surface. One by one brush the pastry sheets with walnut oil and layer into the cake tin – let the extra bits of pastry hang loosely over the edge of the tin. After 4 layers of pastry, spoon half the filling into the middle and spread evenly. Continue layering with four more pieces of oil-brushed pastry. Spoon in the remaining half of the filling and top with the remaining pastry sheets. Gather the overhanging pieces of filo and fold them up into the centre of the pie. Push down gently. Brush the top with a little more oil and sprinkle with dried herbs.
Pop into the oven to bake for 30 minutes, until golden and crispy. Take the pie out of the oven and carefully flip the pie – I do this by placing a plate on the top of the cake tin and flipping it oven quickly. Return the upturned pie into the oven to cook for a further 10 minutes – this is so the bottom is lovely and crisp.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly before turning the right way up again and serving.