Spinach and Leek Phyllo Pie

This is a completly vegan version of a Greek favourite (I also have a recipe on this site for individual spinach and feta pies) and one to bring out for the festive season. The leeks give this pie a lovely sweet taste and it is very easy to put together – making you look like a masterchef! The pie is equally good hot or cold and has my favourite combo of dill and mint. It is also good as a snack with a cup of coffee mid-morning 🙂

2-3 tbsp olive oil (Greek ofcourse!) plus extra for painting your phyllo
1 x red onion – finely diced
2 1/2 cups of finely chopped washed leeks – use all of the leeks – green bits as well.
1 x large carrot – grated
4-5 x spring onions – also chopped finely – use the green stems.
900g of good quality spinach – washed (you can use frozen spinach or fresh (drain fozen spinach well when thawed)
4 – 5 x tbsp dried dill
4 x tbsp dried mint
3 x tbsp dried parsley
3 x tbsp nutritional yeast
Sea salt & pepper
1 x pack of phyllo pastry sheets

Set your oven to 220 degrees before you start with your ingredients and get your phyllo out of the fridge to come to room temperature (don’t take out of the wrapper).
Get a large pan and add in the olive oil and bring to a medium heat.
Now add the chopped red onion, chopped spring onion, leeks and grated carrot to the pan and saute gently for about 10 minutes – stir regularly to make sure the ingredients don’t brown.
As the onions etc start to soften and in all the dried herbs and the nutritional yeast and continue to stir and saute gently for another 5 minutes.
Add your salt and pepper (to taste) and the washed spinach and allow the spinach to completely wilt down – keep cooking until the moisture from the spinach has gone (if it produces a lot of liquid you can always carefully drain). Now remove from the heat and set aside to cool completley.
Remove your phyllo pastry from its wrapper and spread flat being really careful not to allow it to dry – so you will need to work quickly and cover the sheets with clean, damp tea towel when your are working your way through.
You will need about 1/4 cup of olive oil for brushing the phyllo sheets. Get a brownie tin (or a tin at least 1 inch deep and square and brush the bottom with a light layer of olive oil. Carefully lay the first sheet of phyllo into the pan and brush with olive oil. The easiest way to do this is actually with your hands – dip your hands in the olive oil and smooth it over the pastry. The layer about 5-6 sheets on the bottom gently oiling each layer.
Now spoon in your completely cool mixture and smooth down. Then layer about 5 sheets on the top the same way you did your bottom layer.
With the remaining sheets, take 2 and scrunch up slightly on top and keep repeating until you have used all the pastry up. generously slather with olive oil so that the pie is completely covered – you can tuck the edges of the phyllo in like a bed – to make it neat.
Now using a very sharp knife, cut into the servings size you want. Carefully cut through the pastry right to the bottom lengthways and widthwise making squares.
Your pie is now ready to bake, as soon as you put the pie is in the oven reduce the heat to 180 degrees and bake for 1 hour.
After an hour the pie should be lovely and golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
Use the same sharp knife to re-cut your squares and carefully use a fish slice to take out your well deserved piece.
Put on a plate – take a knife and fork, sit back and marvel at your cooking skills!

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