This is my grandma’s nettle spinach pie (spanakopita) recipe, a delicious phyllo pie she would bake using foraged nettles from the woods next to our house. I fondly remember helping her open the homemade phyllo on her kitchen table with an old wooden rolling pin while the nettles and spinach were steaming in the pot.
Just like spinach, nettles contain quite a lot of water. I remember the green leaves would wilt fast and my grandma would add more and more nettles in the pot until she had enough to make the filling.
Once the nettle spinach pie was baked, we would sit all together in her sunny garden and gobble slices of the pie with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Some of the best memories I had up until today!
To make this nettle spinach pie, you will need:
500g foraged nettles tops
500g fresh spinach
250g phyllo pastry
5 green onion stalks
salt, pepper, and oregano for seasoning
- Heat the over to 180C.
- Get the nettles in a bucket with water and vinegar and let them stay for 10′ before rinsing thoroughly. Wear gloves or use tongs to do so, but if you let the nettles in the fridge for about an hour after foraging them, the stings become softer and it makes it easier to handle them with bare hands.
- Bring a large pan with a tiny bit of water to boiling point and throw in the nettle tops and spinach. Once softened, drain in a colander and squeeze to get out as much water as possible.
- In a skillet, pour some olive oil and add the onion and the chopped green onions. Once softened, add the nettles and spinach, coriander, mint and seasoning.
- Line a big tray with baking paper.
- Working with 2 phyllo sheets at a time, brush 2 sheets lightly with olive oil (long edge of sheets should be closest to you). Top with 2 more phyllo sheets and brush lightly with oil.
- Spread 2 tbsp nettle mixture in an even mound along phyllo edge nearest you, leaving a 1-inch border on either side.
- Fold sides of phyllo partially over mound; roll the pastry and filling, burrito-style, to form an 11 x 3-inch roll.
- Place roll seam side down, on the tray.
- Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo sheets and nettle mixture until you have 5 long rolls.
- Brush each roll with the egg yolk.
- Bake until golden brown (it should take around 45′).
- Cut diagonally into slices and serve with tzatziki. Enjoy!