Spanakopita, the classic Greek dish, can be braaied very successfully by using mild coals and a hinged grid. Needless to say, you serve the spanakopita with braaied Greek leg of lamb and Greek salad
- 1 tot olive oil
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 600 g spinach (I prefer baby spinach)
- 200 g feta(about 3 rounds)
- 4 eggs(lightly beaten)
- 1 tsp salt1 tsp black pepper
- 2 packets puff pastry (400 g each; defrosted)
- Fresh spinach generally contains a fair amount of soil. Rinse thoroughly to get rid of any grittiness, and dry to get rid of excess water. Chop the spinach with your sharpest, newest, most prized knife.
- Using your biggest pan, fry the onion in the oil until it’s soft and starts to turn golden brown. Add the spinach. You may find that you struggle to fit all the spinach in, but as soon as it starts to cook the spinach will wilt down to a fraction of its original size. Let the spinach cook for a few minutes to release any excess moisture, and let that steam off. If you have one, you can also do this step on a stove. The spanakopita will get its braai taste later on anyhow. Take it off the heat and add the fried spinach and onion to a large mixing bowl.
- Crumble the feta into the mixing bowl, then add the eggs, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Unroll the puff pastry and dust each sheet lightly with flour on one side, the side that you’ll use on the outside. This will stop the pastry sticking to the grid. If you don’t have any flour on hand, you could lightly oil the grid. Put one sheet carefully on the inside of a hinged grid. Spoon the filling evenly over the sheet, leaving a border of about 2 cm empty. Brush this edge with some water. Now put the second sheet on top of the filled bottom layer. Use your hands to press the edges carefully together so that it seals (the water helps the sheets to stick together). Use a knife or fork to prick a few small holes into the pie so that steam can escape while it is cooking.
- Carefully close the grid, then braai the spanakopita over a medium fire with the grid fairly high for about 20–30 minutes until it is golden brown and cooked. Your only risk is burning the pastry, so rather go too slow than too fast. As you braai, lift the top half of the grid off the surface of the pastry after every time you turn the grid to make sure the pastry doesn’t rise or bake ‘into’ the grid.
- When it is ready, carefully take the pie off the grid and put it onto a wooden chopping board. Slice into squares or triangles.
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