It's been ages since I've last posted a recipe and I wanted to boot up the blog once again, partly to share my recipes with the internet, but also to record the recipes I've come up with for posterity. I've come a long way in the kitchen - from my early days of only being able to cook things in a microwave, to meeting my husband and cooking together to decompress in the evening and now as a stay at home mother where I cook every day and look forward to dinner parties where I can experiment a bit more. In the early days, I would follow recipes religiously but now I like to experiment and enjoy conjuring up something new. I can only liken this to the rush I'd get in my days in the laboratory when I'd finally been able to get a particularly tricky experiment to work. I relish these experiments in the kitchen as I get to share the spoils with the people I love which brings me so much joy.
As a PhD student I'd often get together with a big group of Greek students on a Sunday for a pot-luck lunch and someone would always make Spanakopita which is the obvious inspiration for my Spinach and Feta Phyllo Parcels. When I first started making these, it would usually be for a dinner party so I'd make them in ramekins and scrunch up some leftover phyllo as decoration on top, but these days I'm more likely to make them for a weekend lunch for the kids as they love feta cheese and this gives me a way to sneak in some green stuff amidst all the gooey cheese.
Spinach and Feta Phyllo Parcels
6 sheets of phyllo pastry
200g spinach, washed
healthy pinch of nutmeg
small pinch of ground cloves
salt and pepper
25g feta cheese, crumbled
25g ricotta cheese, crumbled
10g parmesan cheese
1 egg, scrambled
1. Dry toast the pine nuts in a pan until lightly browned and then cool till needed.
2. Wilt the spinach in a pot over low heat and then add half the butter and melt.
3. Add pine nuts, all the cheese, nutmeg, ground cloves and then season to taste. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
4. Add the scrambled egg and mix thoroughly.
5. Fold a sheet of phyllo pastry in half. To the middle of one side place two tablespoons of mixture, then fold over the sides like an envelope. Repeat 5 times.
6. Melt the rest of the butter and brush over with a pastry brush.
7. Bake on parchment paper in a preheated oven at 200C for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.