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Nettle spanakopita

  • Serves 4
  • A little tricky

Liven up nettles with lemon zest in this refreshing and indulgent Greek pie.

Stinging_nettle

Nettles have a long association with Greek food and medicine. Greek wild greens (horta), are often added to pies encased in filo pastry, or topped with a gluten-free cornmeal crust (known as pispilita). Filo or cornmeal, these pies are utterly delicious eaten warm or cold.

To find out where to find nettles and how to pick them safely, read our nettle guide.

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Ingredients

  • Nettle tips 200g
  • Mint leaves 30g
  • Light olive oil 1 tbsp
  • large onion 1, finely chopped
  • Garlic cloves 1, grated
  • Zest of 1 organic lemon
  • Grated nutmeg ¼ tsp
  • Free-range organic eggs 2, beaten
  • Ricotta 300g
  • Feta cheese 100g, crumbled
  • Filo pastry 8 sheets
  • Melted butter, for brushing
  • Sesame seeds, for scattering
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Step 1

    Plunge the nettle tips into boiling water for a minute. Immediately strain them, and when cooled, finely chop with the mint leaves and place in a large mixing bowl. Heat the oil in a pan and sweat the onion until soft and translucent, adding the garlic, lemon zest and nutmeg, and seasoning with salt and pepper. Mix the onion mixture and eggs with the nettle and mint; finally stir in the ricotta and crumbled feta cheese.

  • Step 2

    Preheat the oven to 160°C, 325°F, gas mark 3.

  • Step 3

    Brush four sheets of filo pastry with some melted butter and lay them on top of one another on a baking tray. Spoon the filling onto the pastry. Cover with another four buttered filo sheets and roll the ends together to seal the pie. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 40 minutes or until golden. Serve with a green salad.

Recipes and illustrations taken from FORAGE: Wild Plants to Gather, Cook and Eat, by Liz Knight, illustrations by Rachel Pedder-Smith, is published by Laurence King at £19.99

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