‘Banitsa’ Feta Cheese and Spinach Filo Pastry


Prep Time - 10 minutes Cook Time - 30 minutes

Enjoyed by anyone I’ve ever met, this traditional Bulgarian dish is a must try!


The basic of all recipes consists of mainly feta, even though in most parts of the country, the addition of spinach is widely loved. This recipe was one I decided to adapt, for the sake of being alternative and to my delight it became one we have made over and over again.


It really is so simple to make, and even easier to consume!


Perfect for times when friends surprise you, and ideal for next day lunch.

Try making this recipe with your little one, or tune out by yourself for an easy and delicious all time Bulgarian classic!



Ingredients

500g Filo Pastry

500g fresh spinach

1 large white onion

400g feta cheese

300g natural yogurt

100g olive oil

1tsp bicarbonate soda

1tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp chilli powder

Pinch of salt


Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (170C fan oven/Gas mark 5). Line the base and side of an ovenproof dish with greaseproof paper and set aside for later.

  2. In a large bowl, beat the three eggs until fluffy, crumble the feta cheese and pour three quarters the oil. Add bicarbonate of soda along with the salt to the yogurt and mix well before combining with the rest of the wet ingredients.

  3. In a saucepan, add a tablespoon of oil and turn on to medium heat. Add a finely chopped onion, and sauté until golden brown. Add the paprika, onion and chilli powder, stirring for a minute or so. Then pour the spinach, mix well and place a lid, stirring every 2min until soft.

  4. Wait to cool down slightly, then add to the wet mixture and combine well.

  5. Open the filo pastry pack and take two pieces of sheet to place at the base of your ovenproof dish. No need to be perfect, in fact the more you scrunch the sheets the better texture achieved in the end result! However, make sure there are no tears and you cover evenly as you continue. Take a large serving dish and pour about two spoons onto the layered sheets, spreading equally as much as you can. Then all you need to do is repeat this process, until you are left with two filo sheets to finish your dish. Here you will use the remaining olive oil to glaze, using a cooking brush or sprinkling as evenly as possible.

  6. Place in oven for 30-35min, only opening at the very end when ready to take out. You’re looking for a golden brown colour, with the mixture nicely raised. Once out the oven, sprinkle a few drops of water and cover with a kitchen towel for 10-15min. Cut in squares and enjoy warm or cold as a snack or accompanied with salad.

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