Serbian Spinach Pie (Pita Zeljanica)

Serbian Spinach Pie

Serbian Spinach Pie

Ingredients

1.2kg (2.5lb) fresh spinach, cleaned, torn into smaller pieces
500g (1lb) grated hard yellow cheese
500g (1lb) cottage cheese (use high fat) – you can substitute half with feta cheese.
3 tablespoons sour cream
½ cup milk
6 large beaten eggs
½ cup flour
½ cup yellow corn meal
1 teaspoon salt and some fresh ground black pepper
8 sheets thawed filo dough (read instructions for thawing on the box)
75g (3oz) melted butter

How to do it

  1. In a large pan or wok, sautee the spinach until its completely wilted (about 3 minutes). I do it in batches so it’s easier to deal with such a large quantity. Place the spinach in a strainer when it’s done to drain all fluids. Allow to cool off. Then squeeze as much of the excess water off as you can.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cheeses, sour cream, milk, eggs, flour, corn meal, salt, pepper and spinach.
  4. Melt the butter in a small pot on the stove over low heat.
  5. Lightly brush a 34x22cm (13×9-inch) baking pan with a little of the melted butter. Lay down 1 sheet of the filo dough, lightly brush it all over with butter. Continue with another 3 sheets, buttering each layer as you go
  6. Spread filling over filo base. Lay down another sheet of filo dough, brush it with butter and add 3 more sheets of filo, buttering each layer, and butter the top layer generously. Trim the excess edges of the filo and tuck whatever you can trim into the pie.
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the top is goldenbrown and the filling is set (when a knife inserted comes out clean).
  8. Allow to cool down a little before serving.

Serve with a crisp green salad.

Serves about 8.

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