Spanakopita Peloponnisos

Spanakopita Peloponnisos

Peloponnese spinach rolls

The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Alan Benson

The Greek Orthodox religion has many fast days during the year, but the 40-day Lenten fast is the most important. Home cooks try to prepare interesting meals without meat and other animal products. Very strict adherents even deny themselves olive oil. This recipe is easy to adjust to dietary restrictions.


Quantity Ingredient
500g spinach
85ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped, white part only
8 spring onions, chopped
small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 teaspoons dill or fennel, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 sheets fillo pastry
olive oil or melted butter, for brushing


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Wash the spinach well and cut off any coarse stems. Chop the leaves roughly and place in a large saucepan. Cover and place over medium–low heat for 7–8 minutes, shaking the pan now and then or turning the spinach with a fork. Heat just long enough to wilt the spinach so that the juices can run out freely. Drain well in a colander, pressing occasionally with a spoon.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onion for 10 minutes. Add the leek and spring onion and fry gently for a further 5 minutes, or until translucent.
  4. Place the well-drained spinach in a mixing bowl and add the onion mixture, herbs and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place a sheet of fillo pastry on your work surface and lightly brush with oil or melted butter. Top with three more sheets of pastry, brushing each with oil or melted butter.
  6. Brush the top layer lightly with oil or butter. Place half the spinach mixture along the length of the pastry towards one edge, leaving 4 cm clear on each end.
  7. Fold the bottom edge of the pastry over the filling. Roll once, fold in the ends, then roll up. Place a hand at each end of the roll and push it in gently like a concertina. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.
  8. Place the rolls in an oiled baking dish, leaving space between the rolls. Brush the tops lightly with oil or melted butter and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden.
  9. Serve hot, cut into portions.
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Middle Eastern
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