Spanakopita

Cooler weather means it’s times for greens and citrus in modern Australia. So much for ‘winter’: you will not be surprised to hear that Indigenous Australians had a more appropriate description of it.

You will need:
a bunch of silverbeet
broccoli
russet potatoes
a handful of carrots
some surprisingly unseasonal squash, diced
an onion or two
garlic to taste
eggs (2-5, depending on how you feel about them)
cheeses (one or several: haloumi, feta, pecorino,
parmesan, mozzarella, etc.)
optional: stuff you’ve got leftover from last week,
like turnip, kale, cauliflower, zucchini, etc.
a packet of filo pastry
lots of olive oil, maybe some butter
salt, pepper, maybe some nutmeg, cinnamon or chilli

1) Wash all the vegies. In a very, very, large pot, fry the sliced/diced whatevered onions in heaps of olive oil. Add the garlic, then the
sliced silverbeet, and scrubbed, finely diced potatoes in that order.

2) Cook. It doesn’t really matter how long you cook all of this for – the only requirement is to get rid of the liquid from the greens.

3) Meanwhile, turn the oven on to 190 or so.

4) Take a large, flat baking tray, and grease it with olive oil.

5) Lay the filo pastry in sheet by sheet, remembering to brush most layers with a bit of olive oil or butter (or both), but don’t worry too much about covering each sheet.

Note: Tuck it into the corners of the tray, and leave enough slack so that you can fold the sheets into the middle when the time comes.

6) Add the carrots, broccoli (chopped stems and all), and other vegies, along with the salt and any spices, and turn it off. The residual heat plus baking will cook everything through. And most vegetables don’t need cooking anyway.

7) Crack in the eggs, and grate in the cheese, or add it in large chunks if you prefer.

8) Mix well, then pour the lot into the waiting filo tray.

9) Fold the pastry over the top of the pie, and baste the top with a little more oil/butter. (If the pastry ends don’t quite meet, that’s fine.) Stab a bunch of holes through the top of the pastry.

10) Cook for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out dry from the middle, or until the top is browned, or something.

Serve with wedges of lemon, some chicken sausages, and a chilli condiment of some description. Cold pieces make an excellent lunch, with rice or bread, or any kind of meat, and any kind of wine.