Friday, 19 February 2010

Spinach and feta cheese pies for the journey ahead

I made 12 individual spinach and feta cheese pies so that my nephews could take some with them for their return train journey back home.
The rest were refrigerated and have been dwindling in numbers, being consumed for a working lunch or like tonight for our evening meal. All that is required is gentle reheating in the oven and a serving of salad. The pies were packed and flavourful.
I served these with a butter bean salad. I feel a little guilty as I did go out of my way to buy some imported fresh tomatoes. Whilst eating the salad, it did occur to me that sun dried or sun-blush tomatoes would have worked equally well.
If you do decide to make this recipe, please be warned that you will have quite a bit of filling left over. I decided to use the remainder in filo pastry like this, which we all shared for lunch on Wednesday. However, if you wish, you can double the hot water crust pastry recipe below, to make 2 x 8 inch pie like this Mosaic carrot and bean pie for example, or about 16 - 18 individual pies. I think this filling is quite versatile, so it is completely up to you how you encase it.
UPDATED: Dec 2013 Its always a huge compliment when I see a fellow blogger make a recipe of mine and it turns out to be a hit such as this one made by Nicola over at Lemon and Cheese see here.
Spinach and feta cheese pies
For the fillingIngredients
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, finely sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium leeks, chopped
6 – 8 spring onions, sliced
450g fresh spinach, washed and chopped
1 tablespoon dried dill
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
200g feta cheese, crumbled
50g sliced black olives
2 tablespoons raw rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the onions, garlic and leek until they vegetables are soft and beginning to colour. Add the spring onions, dill, chopped spinach and toss everything together until the spinach wilts. Cover and keep cooking on low heat for about 10 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat and stir occasionally for a few minutes more until the excess moisture completely cooks away. Stir in the cider vinegar and move from the heat. When cool, add the raw rice, crumbled feta cheese and sliced olives. Stir well to combine.
For the hot water crust pastry
Follow this link and scroll down for instructions. Either make 12 individuals pies or 1 large 8 inch cake tin. Once the muffin tin or cake tin has been lined with the pastry, spoon in enough filling before topping with lid. Ensure that you pierce a hole in each lid. Bake at Gas mark 7 for individual pies, 30 – 35 minutes or 45 – 55 minutes for large. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Butter bean and Tomato salad
1 x 400g butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil
2 large stalks, sliced thinly
½ medium red onion, finely sliced
12 black olives, sliced
½ cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and then thinly sliced (I also tend to spoon out the soft middle, but that is up to you).
6 tablespoons of parsley, coarsely
A handful of cherry or baby plum tomatoes, cut in half
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine the beans with the celery, garlic, onions, olives, cucumber, chopped herb, tomatoes, olive oil and seasoning to taste. Toss gently. Recipes adapted From Anna's Kitchen.


  1. Dear lord, spinach and feta cheese pies sound sooooo good to me, and yours look soooo good! I love spinach and I love soft cheeses, so I know it's definately something I'd enjoy eating!

  2. What a thoughtful Aunt you are! Wish I was a nephew to you so that I could enjoy that meal!

    Wishing your nephews a safe and happy trip home!


  3. Spinach and feta are one of those perfect combinations and one that I love. Putting them in a pie is a good idea.

  4. (20 medium onions, finely sliced)

    Mangocheeks,is this correct or a typo?

    Must say I find most of your recipes unusual and quite inspiring. I'm an older veggie and rather less adventurous, but I do like something tasty and different once in a while.

    Grannie Sue.

  5. Thank you so much for coming by Julia. It really is most appreciated.

    Thanks Pam,
    but I am also a little bit grumpy too, telling them off now and again for their loud noises....Are you still sure you wish you were my nephew?! :D

    They got back home safely. Thank you.

    Thanks Jacqueline. They were great as a portable lunch too.

    Welcome and Thank you so much for commenting Grannie Sue. It is so nice to make your acquaintance.

    I don't often make mistakes on typing the recipes, so do sincerely appreciate you pointing this typo out. Thank you so much. I have corrected it now. Please do come by again. Its been a pleasure.

  6. They look lovely, and so versatile too as they can be eaten as a snack or as a main meal.

  7. I can see why you are the favourite aunt

    these pies look fantastic and I love the look of the pastry - I have tried hot water pastry a few times and it is so good but I have only tried pasties - now I am keen to try these sorts of pies which just look so good for lunches and portable snacks

  8. oh my goodness if you post any more nice food on here I may end up being the size of a house making and eating them all :-)

  9. Thank you for posting these recipes! I am off to find a conversion for "gas mark 7" for my American oven...

  10. Thank you Johanna.
    I was so delighted when I came across this pastry recipe all those years ago. sicne then I've made various pies, some posted on this blog, other before I had this blog. It really is fab: warm or cold. I think they also look very impressive, regardless of the filling(s).

    Thank you Scented Sweetpeas.

    Thats one of the reasons for having an allotment, fresh air and some excercise.
    PS I won't be posting any food today, so you can take a little break.

    Hi Shannon.
    Your welcome. If you scroll down my side-bar I do have conversions for Gas Marks. I Hope this helps. I'm thinking about putting back on the CultiverConverter too. I took it off as I wasn't sure if anyone was using it.

  11. Ohhh! Those are very appetizing. Thanks for sharing, and causing much drooling! ; )

  12. These pies look wonderful. I've not yet tried making hot water pastry. Is it easier than ordinary pastry?

  13. Choclette,
    I've made this pastry so many times, so will say yes. The only thing about it is that you have to work with the dough pretty quick to shape whilst its warm, cos when its gets cold its hard to mould into the tins.

  14. Spinach and Feta is one of my favourite combinations, my children also love it, especially my daughter. I usually make big spanokopita pies, but I should make some smaller ones like you, so that I can put them in the kid's lunch boxes. Thank you for the idea.



    Hey, thank you for putting me in your blog list, of course you are already in mine, your posts rock!

  15. Thank you so much Alessandra.
    I occasionally make a large one too, and was meant to with this recipe, but decided on smaller ones, and I am so glad I did. I'm so glad your liking the idea too.

    PS I shouldve added your blog to my blogroll way back, but I guess its better late than never. I think fellow bloggers who have not seen your blog, will like it and find it inspirational. I certainly do.

  16. Quick question...why is there raw rice in the recipe? Could I leave it out? Also I don't have feta, do you think it would work with goats cheese? I have a lot that!

    1. Its to absorb the excess moisture from the spinach. Yes, you can leave it out, but its there to prevent a soggy bottom. Yes, goats cheese would work, but its texture may be a lot softer as feta is firmer and retains it shape.

    2. That's very clever! Does the rice cook as the pie cooks or can you just not taste it?

    3. It cooks as it absorbs the juices, you shouldn't even know its there, hence taste it really


If you’ve tried one of my recipes, Please let me know by leaving a comment below or tagging me social media with @SeasonalShaheen.

Thank You