MasterChef’s Hannah from Suffolk has a Greek recipe to take you back to your hols
- Credit: GEORGE DAVIES
Who else is dreaming of holidays past from their sofa?
Food can help evoke those special places and here MasterChef quarter-finalist Hannah Gregory from Bury St Edmunds has a recipe to transport you to the Greek Islands.
Hannah, who made it to the last 16 on the most recent BBC show, wants to share this recipe for Spanakopita (feta and spinach pie) that takes her back to the island of Evia.
MORE: Wondering what to cook during lockdown? Here’s a recipe from MasterChef quarterfinalist Hannah from SuffolkThe music festival producer, who hosts WanderSups supper clubs when not in lockdown, said: “I was lucky enough to do some traditional cooking lessons last time I was in Greece. I met this wonderful woman who invited me into her home on a cold, rainy day and we worked our way through four traditional Greek recipes.
“She explained to me, the only way to cook was with lots of wine and lots of Ouzo (the recipes we did towards the end of the day are slightly hazy).
“Once we had cooked everything, we sat and ate outside, under a canopy of ivy, you could smell the drying rain, hear the waves crashing, it was just dreamy. Of course, we finished the bottle of Ouzo and laughed long into the night despite a language barrier - proof that food really does bring people together.”
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Spanakopita (feta and spinach pie) - in Hannah’s words
I am sharing this Spanakopita recipe because every time I eat it, it takes me right back to that moment. It is super easy, super cheap and relatively healthy. Enjoy!
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As always, if you want the full WanderSups experience, make sure you pour a drink and pop on a playlist (head to Spotify and search WanderSups. Every playlist you need is ready and waiting for you). It’s the only way to cook!
Spotify Playlist - I’d Rather be in the Med
Tipple of Choice - It has to be Ouzo for the true authentic experience.
What you need:
500g filo pastry sheets (confession - we actually made our own pastry in Greece but a) I don’t think anyone has the patience for that and b) I don’t think you can beat pre-made filo)
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
400g feta cheese
Large bunch of fresh mint - approx 50g
Small bunch of flat leaf parsley - approx 25g
Small bunch of oregano - approx 25g
How you do it:
•Preheat the oven to 180C.
•First up, get chopping - finely slice your spinach and put into a large bowl (do this in batches unless you have a HUGE chopping board and an army of guinea pigs to help you with the inevitable spinach confetti that will adorn your kitchen floor).
•Finely chop your herbs making sure you strip the oregano and mint leaves off their woody stalks - throw them in the bowl with the spinach.
•Finely dice the onion and chuck that in as well.
•Scatter over a pinch of salt (remember your feta will be quite salty) and A LOT of black pepper.
•Crumble your feta into the bowl.
•Now it’s time to get your hands dirty (this is great to get kids involved, I’m not entirely sure why they like to get their hands messy but years of nannying has taught me, they do). You want to scrunch things real good here - mixing everything together and really squeezing the spinach. After a few minutes the spinach will be wilted and resemble how it looks when it is cooked. You are looking for a wet pulp - if you are struggling to get it there, add in a little more salt.
•Take an ovenproof dish and drape a couple of your sheets over the bottom of the dish; you want to have some overhang around the edges as these will be folded over to help make your lid. Brush your sheets lightly with oil (if you have a spray - even better). Spoon in half of your spinach mixture, top with a sheet of pastry and then the remaining spinach mix. To make the lid of the pie, place your remaining sheets on top and then take all your overhanging pastry and scrunch them around to create your masterpiece. There are no rules here – the more rustic the better. Lightly brush or spray on some oil.
•Pop in the oven for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it as the scrunched filo can easily catch - if this is starting to happen, just loosely cover with tin foil for the remaining time.
•Now things get really tricky. Take your pie out of the oven and walk away. I know it’s hard but you need to dig deep here - you need to let that pie sit. After at least 30 minutes of letting the pie cool, then and only then may you dig in. Cut into portions and dream of Achilles (the Brad Pitt version).
•To find out more about WanderSups supper clubs, where the food is inspired by journeys around the world, and what Hannah is currently cooking look for @WanderSups on Instagram. We will be sharing another of Hannah’s recipes next week.