The Perfect Picnic Pie

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There is a small organic food store a few blocks from where we live. Apart from always having really nice fresh herbs and vegetables they also sell Turkish filo pastry hand pies called Börek, filled with spinach and feta cheese (similar to the Greek Spanakopita). And delicious mini baklavas. They make them daily and sell them waaaay too cheap. Almost everyone who visits their store leaves with a Börek in their hand and a baklawa tucked down in their bag. Us included. It is impossible not to. Every time we’ve been munching on them we’ve talked about making something similar at home. A few weeks ago we finally did.

Instead of going down the filo pastry route, we used the flavors from the Börek in a more westernized type of pie. The crust was made from ground oats and almond flour and turned out very light and delicious. We bought feta cheese from the same food store. Even though we are not cheese connoisseurs we can definitely recommend trying a better quality feta cheese than regular pre-packed store cheese. It certainly makes a difference. The pie turned out so much tastier than we expected. Full of flavor, rich but not too heavy. It is the perfect dish to bring on a picnic or a potluck, since it is just as good hot as it is cold. We recommend serving it with a simple tomato salad. The freshness from the tomatoes balances the richness of the pie perfectly.

If you are more curious about our neighborhoods we should add that we are working on a food guide to our favorite places in Stockholm. Or at least around the area where we live. So stay tuned for that.

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Spinach and Feta Pie with an Oat Crust
Serves 4-8, depending on how large pieces you crave

For the crust
1/2 cup (65 g) gluten-free oat flour (buy or simply ground rolled oats in a mortar or food processor)
1/3 cup (45 g) ground almond flour
2 tbsp corn starch
½ tsp sea salt
3 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil or organic butter
3 tbsp ice-cold water

For the filling
3 eggs
5 1/2 oz (150 g) feta cheese 
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp red chilli flakes
½ tsp grated nutmeg
2 tbsp olive oil
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove 
2 cups (150 g) fresh spinach, firmly packed 
Salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Combine the oat and almond flours, cornflour and sea salt in a bowl. Add the coconut oil and ice-cold water. With your hands, work the dry ingredients towards the centre until a dough forms. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm, then chill for about 30 minutes.

Press the dough evenly into a 20cm / 8 inch tart case. Trim the dough flush with the edge of the case. Prick the bottom with a fork and blind bake for about 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3.

Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, whisk for 30 seconds, then crumble in the feta cheese. Stir in the oregano, chilli flakes, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Add the spring onions and garlic and fry for about 3 minutes until golden. Add half of the spinach and a pinch of salt. Stir the spinach gently until it wilts, then add the rest and keep on stirring until wilted. Remove from the heat and pour into the mixing bowl containing the egg and cheese mixture. Stir well until everything is combined.

Spoon the filling into the crust. Bake for about 30 minutes until the filling is firm and golden. Let it cool for a while before serving.

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This recipes was first published in The Guardian’s article The 10 Best Picnic Recipes.

76 Comments

  • Brandy Wall
    Hello! I just have to share with you that I have made this a dozen times for friends and it is ALWAYS a hit! Their husbands will stop me to tell me how much they love this dish :). My family adores it as well!
  • Shazia
    Hi, What would be a good substitute for almond flour. Have both wheat and nut allergies in the family. Sincerely, Shazia
  • Maryna
    Guys, first of all let me thank you for an amazing and beautiful work you do! All your recipes and pictures are a real masterpiece. In fact, you are the only source of recipes that I am sure of because they always (!) turn out delicious. And here there is another proof why you are so great - my husband likes all the dishes from Green Kitchen Stories. All I've made! And he is one veeeeeery picky Italian. I have made this pie like a thousand times already, it really became one of the old times favourites in our family. There is one substitution I'd recommend for those who are watching their calories intake: tvorog (fiocchi di latte, cottage cheese or quark depending on the country) instead of feta. I add around 300 g of tvorog instead of feta and some more salt or sprinkles of parmiggiano on top to make up for missing salt. If your tvorog is shaped like little balls (in fact, that's how they do fiocchi di latte here in Italy), I give it a spin with a mixer before adding it. Comes out tasting fantastic and even more guilt-free :)
  • I find myself cooking only recipes from your index these days! This evening I tried the Pie and after an initial 'big shouting moment' because I thought I screwed up the dough, I was so surprised that all turned out so yummy!!! Will do this one again next Weekend for a friend's b-day bash! Thanks for your great taste! :)
  • I love this!! Has anyone tried a vegan version? There's just too many lactose intolerant and vegan friends in my circles.
  • Fanny
    Hej! Betyder "blind bake" förgrädda på svenska? Jag försökte slå upp det men hittade ingen översättning... Blir så fantastiskt inspirerad av er både på bloggen och Instagram, tusen tack för att ni delar era recept med oss! Fanny
    • Ja precis. Alltså grädda pajskalet först utan fyllningen för att det ska få rätt konsistens. /David
      • Fanny
        Tack snälla!
  • Linh Chi
    is it possible to make the recipe vegan?
  • Fran
    Hi David and Luise, Is it possible to use buckwheat flour instead of oat flour? Also, I tried to make the pie, but when I was about to gather the dough into a ball I had some difficulties... the dough wouldn't stick together and was falling apart looking like breadcrumbs... any idea why?! Thanks. Best, Fran
  • Ingrid
    Hi David and Luise, If I were to make this pie with grated parsnip and carrot, would you still recommend the cheese? I'd like to make it, but not with spinach. I hope you can give me some advise! Best, Ingrid
    • HI Ingrid, I am actually not sure how those vegetables would work with the cheese since we haven't tried it. It might work. But I would perhaps try a coconut milk and egg filling together with carrots and parsnip instead? Let us know what you decide on and how it turns out! /David
      • Ingrid
        Hi David, That's a good idea. I'll try it next time since I baked it today with a egg and sheep ricotta filling (including the carrot and parsnip). That worked out perfectly. But I like the coconut idea too! Will let you know how that turns out. Thanks for replying :). Best, Ingrid

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