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Cheese & spinach pie cut into squares on a board

Zeljanica (cheese & spinach pie)

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • More effort
  • Serves 9-12

Make this moreish Middle Eastern-inspired pie for a special occasion when you're feeding a crowd. It's made with curd cheese, but you can use ricotta and mascarpone instead

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
Nutrition: Per serving
NutrientUnit
kcal445
fat30g
saturates14g
carbs27g
sugars5g
fibre3g
protein15g
salt1.2g
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Ingredients

  • vegetable oil, for the tin
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 500g curd cheese, crumbled (this can be found in specialist shops), or use 250g ricotta mixed with 250g mascarpone
  • 250g feta, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp soured cream or crème fraîche
  • 500g frozen spinach, defrosted and excess moisture wrung out in a clean tea towel
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 300ml natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 500g filo pastry
  • 20g unsalted butter

Method

  • STEP 1

    Lightly oil a roasting tin (ours was about 25 x 35cm and 4cm deep) and line with baking parchment. Mix the eggs, cheeses, soured cream or crème fraîche, spinach and some seasoning together in a bowl.

  • STEP 2

    In another bowl, mix together the oil, yogurt and baking powder. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

  • STEP 3

    Cut the filo sheets in half so they are roughly the size of the tin. Put one filo sheet in the tin and evenly brush over 1-2 tbsp of the yogurt mixture using pastry brush. Top with another filo sheet, brush over more yogurt mixture and repeat until you’ve used half the filo.

  • STEP 4

    Pour over the cheese filling, then gently spread it to the edges using a spatula. Continue layering the rest of the filo sheets and yogurt mix. Spread any remaining yogurt mix over the top of the final filo sheet.

  • STEP 5

    Cut the pie into squares (either nine or 12, depending on how big you want the pieces to be). Will keep frozen for up to a month. Defrost completely in the fridge overnight before cooking. Top each square with a small knob of butter, then bake for 20 mins. Reduce the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake for another 25-30 mins until browned on top. Leave to cool slightly before serving warm. Will keep covered and chilled for up to two days.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2022

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