Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals #26: Spinach & Feta Filo Pie

Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals #26: Spinach & Feta Filo Pie
With this meal, we venture into the second half of Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals! It was the Snook’s turn to cook this week, and we chose “Spinach & Feta Filo Pie, Cucumber Salad, Tomato Salad, and Coated Ice Cream.” We picked the recipe because we had silverbeet and tomatoes to use up from the veggie box, and we happened to have all of the ice cream coating ingredients too. Unfortunately the time was a complete BLOWOUT, and he finished it in 43:57. (And even that wasn’t quite long enough, as you’ll see!) But those flavours… YUM.

Spinach & Feta Filo Pie

Substitutions: We used silverbeet (just the leaves) to substitute for 75% of the spinach. We used some Tasty cheese instead of Cheddar. We forgot the fresh red chilli for the cucumber salad and had to use dried chilli flakes. Everything else was as written in the recipe.

Quick verdict: This was a total winner in terms of flavour. The pie was excellent! The Snook had been worried about the cayenne sprinkled between the layers of filo, but it provided just the right amount of heat to counter the rich cheesy interior. The tomato salad was beautiful, and I can totally see myself spooning that onto some bread for bruschetta this summer. The cucumber salad was just okay, but I found the leftovers improved the next day. But the dessert? It was a revelation! The first of Jamie’s “simple” desserts that was actually greater than the sum of its parts. I rated the meal as 9.5 out of 10, while the Snook gave it a 9. The only real drawback was the TIME. There is just no way to prepare this meal in under 30 minutes. The pie is meant to cook for 18-20 minutes, which means you need to get it in the oven in 10 minutes flat. There’s just no way. It took the Snook more than 20 minutes to get his in! And when he went to serve it, he decided the egg filling wasn’t set yet and put it back in for another 10 minutes (that I didn’t even count in his official time). So this one gets major points for flavour, but you’re not gonna make it in 30 minutes.

Read on for a photo essay of the preparation.Pre-start prep: We got out all the necessary ingredients, tools, and cooking vessels. The kitchen was clean (well, as clean as it gets) and everything wiped down and ready to go. The oven was turned on to 200C and the food processor was fitted with the standard blade attachment. We had a large frying pan as the sole cooking vessel!

First up are the ingredients for the pie: pinenuts, eggs, feta cheese, Cheddar cheese, oregano, lemon, butter, silverbeet/spinach, filo pastry, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg.

Pie ingredients

Next the bits for the cucumber salad: cucumber, black olives, balsamic vinegar, spring onions, lemon, chilli, and mint.

Cucumber salad ingredients

Next the tomato salad ingredients: basil, garlic, white wine vinegar, and tomatoes.

Tomato salad ingredients

Lastly, the ingredients for the dessert: coffee beans, hazelnuts, chocolate, and vanilla ice cream.

Dessert ingredients

Our sole frying pan, ready to go! We’ve also got some dishes ready for the salads.

Frying pan and salad bowls

The food processor has the standard blade attachment ready and waiting.

Food processor

And he’s off! The first step is to get the pinenuts toasting in the frying pan.

Toasting pinenuts

While that happens, he gets to work on the filling. Five eggs get cracked into the bowl…

Cracking eggs

…along with quite a lot of lovely feta cheese.

Adding feta

He also grated in some Tasty cheese for extra gooeyness.

Grating cheese

He finishes the filling with dried oregano, lemon zest, and olive oil.

Zesting a lemon

The pinenuts were toasted by then, so he added them as well.

Adding the pinenuts

He put the frying pan back on the heat and got the spinach/silverbeet wilting with some butter.

Wilting the spinach

Time to prep the filo! He spread out a layer of greaseproof paper on the bench and smeared it with olive oil.

Prepping the paper

Then he laid down a large single layer of filo sheets, sprinkling it with more oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne. This was repeated twice more for a total of three layers.

First layer is down!

The spinach continued to wilt.

Spinach nearly done...

Once it was finished, he added it to the filling and mixed it all up.

Adding the spinach

Now to assemble the pie! He put his triple layer of filo into the frying pan (still in the paper!) and pushed it down along the edges.

Placing the filo

Next he added the filling to the pan to fill the crust.

Filling the pie

To finish the pie, he folded the edges of the filo up and over, letting them fall artfully into wrinkles and crinkles. He also trimmed the paper close to the edge of the pan. The pie cooked on the stove for a few minutes before going straight into the oven.

Finished pie

Now on to the cucumber salad. He scored it all over with a fork…

Scoring the cucumber

…before chopping it up into pieces.

Chopping the cucumber

To make the dressing, he tore up ten black olives.

Tearing up olives

He then finely sliced some spring onions.

Slicing spring onions

He mixed the onions and olives in a bowl along with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and chilli.

Mixing the dressing

He then finely sliced some mint and added it along with the cucumbers. Here’s the cucumber salad, ready to be tossed and eaten!

Cucumber salad

Now for the dessert. Rather than grind our coffee beans in a blender, we just used our actual coffee grinder.

Grinding coffee

He then put hazelnuts and chocolate into the food processor…

Hazelnuts and chocolate

…before whizzing them up.

Whizz!

He combined the chocolate/nut mixture with the coffee in a bowl.

Combining the coffee, chocolate, and nuts

It made a sort of lovely “soil” to sprinkle over our ice cream. He set it aside for now.

Chocolate soil

The last thing to make is the tomato salad. He began by adding basil leaves, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, and white wine vinegar to the (clean!) food processor.

Making the basil dressing

More whizzing!

Whizz!

It was slightly thinner than a pesto, and vibrant green.

Basil dressing

He poured the dressing into a serving bowl…

Pouring the dressing

…before adding the tomatoes (which he’d artfully chopped into random cheffy chunks).

Tomatoes

A pinch of salt and some basil leaves to garnish finished the dish!

Tomato salad

Here is the pie as it finally came out of the oven… before going back in for another 10 minutes.

Pie

Here is the tossed cucumber salad, ready to eat. (There was a lot of dressing in there, maybe too much.)

Cucumber salad

The yummy tossed tomato salad is ready.

Tomato salad

And here’s the pie out of the oven – finally!

Finished pie

Finished meal of spinach and feta filo pie, cucumber salad, and tomato salad.

Finished meal

For the dessert, we simply scooped out vanilla ice cream and sprinkled the crumbly soil on top.

Dessert

Tasting notes: Everything was really good. The cayenne in the filo was a bit strong if you were just eating the crust alone, but together with the filling it was nicely balanced. The filling was set perfectly (though we did bake it more like 30 minutes instead of the 18-20 Jamie suggested). The tomato salad was gorgeous, with the raw garlic providing a nice bit of heat. It was like eating really good bruschetta without the bread! I liked the cucumber salad better than the Snook; he found it a little boring. We both agreed that the ice cream was surprisingly effective. (Be warned – the recipe makes a LOT. We halved and still had enough for dessert three nights running.) I rated the overall meal a 9.5 and the Snook gave it a 9. This would be a really nice one to share with guests on a summer day! Just don’t expect to finish the cooking in less than 45 minutes…

Stay tuned for another recipe from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals!

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4 Comments

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  1. My only having one pan to Jamie’s two, and sometimes three, is the sole reason why I don’t even try to do the recipes in thirty minutes. That and his having more kitchen space than my entire home 🙂

  2. we made this one a few weeks ago, and it was delicious! it took me almost an hour to prepare this meal though, so in a way i am glad to see it took you significantly longer than 30mins too…makes me feel like i wasn’t *just* being slow! we still have some of the chocolate ‘soil’ left in a container in the fridge waiting for me to get some more ice-cream to eat it with.

  3. agreed. the pie takes over 30 minutes in the oven alone. it is however– yummie. *waiting for ours to set now*

  4. Looks really good I must try it. The filo things looks like something i might have cooked anyway but would have missed adding pine nuts. A good addition i think.

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