Spanakopita is a widely loved Mediterranean pastry, usually filled with spinach and goat’s cheese. In our West Coast Wild Foods take on this favourite, we swap out the spinach for a bit of the Pacific Northwest forest. With a flavour similar to spinach, though with a slight cucumber twist to it when cooked, this recipe mimics the original, but adds that extra wild kick that wild food enthusiasts look for.
Stinging nettle is a well known plant, mostly for people’s accidental encounters with it when walking through fields, but what if we told you it was a powerhouse in nutrients? With one of the highest natural sources of iron, and also a rich source of Vitamins A and C, this is an ingredient to keep at the top of your spring cooking list.
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Serves: 6 people Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 50 minutes
- 150g (5.25oz) Fresh Stinging Nettle
- 100g (3.5oz) butter, ¼ solid, ¾ melted
- 200g (7oz) feta, crumbled
- 50g (1.75oz) parmesan, finely grated
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1 egg, beaten
- nutmeg, grated
- 7 sheets phyllo pastry
- Preheat the oven to 400°F
- Wash the nettles well but not draining them completely
- Heat ¼ of the butter in a large frying pan
- When the butter is crackling and slightly brown, add the nettle and cook until the leaves are wilted (~5 minutes)
- Remove the nettle from the heat and set aside to cool
- Lay out a tea towel and scoop the nettle out onto it and squeeze as much of the moisture out of the nettle as possible
- Loosely chop up the nettle and place in a bowl
- Add the feta, parmesan, lemon juice and zest along with ⅔ of the egg and a pinch of nutmeg, and mix together
- On a flat surface, lay out 3 sheets of phyllo end-to-end, overlapping each about 5cm (2.5in)
- With the remaining melted butter, brush the phyllo sheets evenly
- Lay 3 more sheets on top of the other sheets and brush with butter again
- Add the last sheet of Phyllo to the middle of the 3 sheets
- With the nettle mixture, make a 2cm (1in) wide line along the bottom edge of the pastry
- Take each end and fold it over the edge of the nettle mixture so none falls out during baking
- Roll the pastry away from you to create a long sausage shape
- Coil the pastry into a spiral on a flat surface and place on a parchment-lined baking tray
- Brush the top of the pastry with the remaining egg and place in the oven
- Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly
- Serve and enjoy!
Tip: Stinging nettle, as you can imagine, sting, so ensure you wear gloves when handling fresh nettle or else use frozen nettle to save yourself that irritating sting along your hands and forearms.
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