Kalekopita - Spanakopita made with Kale
Serves 4 – 6
Last week I had the privilege of being taught how to cook Spanakopita in Greece by our good friend and Greek chef Akilsti Spilioti! And the secret as it turns out, unsurprisingly, is lashings of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. And the other surprise? We used just a crumble of feta and only one egg. All these years I’ve really been making spinach quiche wrapped up in filo pastry. So a little history first… “Pita” or Pie has been a staple in Greek cuisine for thousands of years. Traditionally it was made in large pans to feed very hungry field workers. There had been no hard field work performed on the day I made this pie and only 4 of us to feed, so I made it in the Legacy pan and it fed us all untill we were fuller than we should've been, but if you double the recipe and make it in the Grande you will make enough pie to feed at least 10 people.
I recreated this dish again this week using number 29 EVOO and substituting kale for the spinach. It’s a miracle to me that a pie with so many greens and so little everything else is just so incredibly delish. The bright, crisp and herbaceous notes of the number 29 EVOO pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the kale and lemon zest filling. And then with all that extra EVOO drizzled between the lightest of filo pastry layers it’s no surprise that this pie is the crunchiest of taste sensations. One of the great things about kale is that it is easy to grow during the winter months. In fact, kale is one of the few vegetables that actually tastes better after being exposed to frost. It grows quickly and can be harvested in as little as 6-8 weeks. Get planting and then cooking. Home grown food tastes best.
450 g fresh kale, stalks removed chopped roughly
1 medium onion, chopped finely
6 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c olive oil (incl 2 T for frying onions)
100 g feta cheese, crumbled
½ c fresh dill, finely chopped (a very large bunch)
Salt and pepper to taste
Zest of 1 lemon
6 sheets filo pastry
⅛ c olive oil
Flaky salt to finish
Begin by preheating your oven to 180°C. In your Legacy Pan heat 2 tablespoons of the the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.
Add the chopped kale to the hot pan and cook covered until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool, then spin in a salad spinner or squeeze in a tea towel to remove all the moisture. When cool slice the kale finely.
In a mixing bowl lightly combine all of the filling ingredients. Brush your cooled Legacy Pan with olive oil then lay a sheet of filo in the pan and drizzle with olive oil. Repeat with 2 more sheets of the filo, drizzling each layer with olive oil.
Evenly distribute the kale mixture into the filo-lined pan and fold the filo over the top of the pie.
Layer 3 more sheets of filo on top of the kale mixture, drizzling each layer with olive oil. Fold the edges of the filo into the middle of the top of the pan to create a rustic crust.
Drizzle the top of the pie with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky salt.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the filo is golden brown and crispy, top and bottom.
Let the kale pie cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!