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5 July 2012
Nico's Spanakopita (spinach pie)
This dish has been adapted by my husband Nico to include bécha-
mel which softens the earthy spinach taste. It has some of my
favourite ingredients in it -- spinach, feta, eggs, olive oil and dill
and it freezes well, so there is always a healthy meal on hand.
1 packet flo – take out of fridge at least an hour before
1 packet of feta
2 to 3 eggs beaten
1 packet frozen spinach
Fresh dill or dill seed
Lots of black pepper
In a large mixing bowl add crumbled feta to beaten eggs.
Saute onion and dill seed, then add defrosted (or fresh if you have
it) spinach, salt and pepper -- cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
(Add fresh dill if you have it)
Make about half a cup of béchamel sauce with butter, milk nutmeg,
salt and pepper. Add spinach mixture and bechamel sauce to the
eggs and feta and mix well.
Brush a sheet of flo with olive oil and place on a rectangular oven
dish (approx. 22cm x 30cm). Repeat six times to layer the flo,
making sure the pastry comes up the sides of the dish.
Pour in the mixture (add walnuts if you wish) and top with another
six sheets of flo which have all been brushed with oil.
Tuck sheets under the pie and bake at 180ºC for about half an
Earliest cooking memory: Soft boiled eggs with soldiers.
Favourite good food memory: Ten close friends celebrating
a friend's birthday at Onetangi on St Patrick's Day. He cooked
Greek lamb on the Weber, his wife had the table set with fowers
and candles on the beach...magical.
I wouldn't be without: My Spanish terracotta cooking dishes.
Favourite ingredient: Island olive oil and lemons.
Best local ingredient: Waiheke's koroneiki olive oils.
I love to eat at: A taverna on the beach on a Greek Island with
good friends and family.
Favourite fast food: Pasta with fresh ingredients -- olive oil,
herbs, rocket, tomatoes and parmesan.
Best ever foodie tip: Keep it simple, fresh and seasonal.
Lynda Benveniste loves the eclectic mix of people and the relationship to the sea
that Waiheke offers. Enjoy the Spanakopita with a crisp glass of Ouzo.
Wine columnist Linda Jones matches Lynda's Spanakopita with Owhanake's delicious pinot gris
Quality Meats ~ Free Range Chicken
Gluten Free Sausages ~ Pork Pies.
Meats for BBQs ~ Roasts ~ Slow cooking
We have (or can order)...
Venison ~ Pheasant ~ Rabbit
Guinea fowl ~ Quail ~ Wild boar
102 Oceanview Road, Oneroa • Ph 372 8798
We'd love to MEAT you!
Come in and browse or call to order
Open 7 days 10am -- 5pm
In the heart of Oneroa • 2/116 Ocean View Road • 372 6873
Regás Spanish Cookware
Regás – a classical example of the
traditional evolution from a craft pottery
ﬁrm into a workshop and ﬁnally an
Free of all metal harmful to the health,
ecologically friendly, aesthetically
pleasing and a pleasure to cook with.
Savon de Marseille
by Rampal Latour,
100% natural ingredients,
handmade using traditional
Spanakopita was what I used to eat for breakfast on the Greek island of Paros. The spinach and
feta flling was completely encased by warm pastry in the shape of a pain au chocolat and was the
frst thing to sell out at the local store in the morning. It was the perfect antidote to cheap Greek
cocktails the night before, which contained a spurious mixture of not so top shelf ingredients.
These cocktails were a more desirable choice than the local Retsina, which at that time was more
suitable as a cleaning product than a palate cleanser.
A wonderful local wine which will bask beautifully alongside this authentic dish is the Melina
Flora Pinot Gris from Owhanake Bay Estate. The fora grape was created in California from a
blend of gewurztraminer and semillon and was popular in New Zealand in the 1970s but lost trac-
tion as a blending wine when single varietal wines started to win the market over. It engenders
this wine with the spicy notes of a good gewurtz, and the plump body of a lush semillon. It has a
nice lifted acid structure which corsets all the lovely aromatics of this sumptuous blend together
to create a bright off-dry style. The Waiheke Wine Centre can be considered their cellar door on
the island, but it is available at all good wine shops. Alternatively it can be ordered directly from
the vineyard which also hosts some stylish boutique accommodation.
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