One of my favourite Greek dishes is Spanakopita. A delicious blend of spinach, feta cheese, eggs and fresh herbs layered in filo pastry. Mmmmm!
Today I thought I would try making it using kale in place of spinach.
Both spinach and kale are incredibly healthy for us and incredibly low calorie. They are an excellent source of important vitamins and minerals, including beta carotene (precursor to vitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin K, iron, folate, calcium (although this may be easier to absorb in kale) and magnesium. They are also high in fibre and contain important antioxidants and phytonutrients known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Plus they both contain omega 3 fats!
The only consideration I had to make when using kale was that kale takes quite a bit longer to cook than spinach.
To make this version healthier than the typical spanakopita, I cut down the amount of feta cheese and replaced it with ricotta (lower in fat and salt). I used pastry only on the top (not on the bottom as well) and I brushed the pastry with extra virgin olive oil (healthy mono-unsaturated fat) instead of butter (saturated fat). It was delicious….
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small bunch of kale, tough stems removed and leaves finely chopped (300g leaves)
- ½ cup parsley, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup mint, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup dill, roughly chopped
- 100g ricotta
- 80g feta cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- fresh ground pepper
- 8 sheets of filo pastry
- Heat a large fry pan (that has a lid) over medium heat.
- When hot, add about 3 teaspoons of olive oil and the spring onions.
- Cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add kale, place lid on the fry pan and cook over low-medium heat until very tender, about 8-10 minutes. Stir every few minutes.
- When cooked, allow to cool slightly, then tip into a bowl.
- Add herbs, ricotta, feta, eggs and pepper and stir to combine.
- Heat oven to 200 degrees C and have a ceramic baking dish handy (15cm x 26cm approx.).
- Place kale mix in base of tray.
- Unwrap filo pastry, then scrunch up a piece at a time and place on top of the kale mix.
- See photos below showing how to do this.
- When the top is completely covered, brush with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 180°C and bake until golden brown, another 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.
- Serve with salad
Per Serve: 1393kJ or 332 calories; P 17g Fat 19g SFat 6g CHO 24g Fibre 3g
Note: This makes 4 lighter or lunch time serves. For a larger serve, double the bottom, but keep the same amount of filo pastry for the top.