Before we start talking about kale, I’m just going to vent all my festive excitement for you. Well, boy am I glad that the “Halloween season” is officially over, and we can focus on the real deal: CHRISTMAS!! I know it’s nearly two months away but I am already SO excited. I’m currently pondering what colour theme to decorate the tree with. Any suggestions? I’m so tempted by a rose gold theme but I know that I really shouldn’t go out and buy a whole tree-worth of new decorations. I’m such a bauble-hoarder. Tucked away in boxes I already have stuff for red, white, gold, silver, purple, black… The list goes on.
Speaking of Christmas, in true winter style I have gone and got myself a good old cold. Right before I go to Paris. Yay. I hate being sick when I’m going away, but hopefully all the wine and cheese and hot chocolate and steak and buttery sauces of Paris will cure me. I am SO excited, if you couldn’t tell. Paris has to be one of the most beautiful and magical cities in the world, and I love being there at any time of year. If you have any particular spots to visit/eat at that you love, let me know!
Anyway, back to the kale! I do love anything wrapped in buttery pastry, and this take on spanakopita really hits the mark. It’s also a perfect main dish to serve if you’ve got vegetarians coming round for Thanksgiving! The kale works nicely in place of spinach and seems to retain more bite and flavour. Of course, I had to hit the filling with a little spice – warming aromatic baharat is perfect here, but fear not if you can’t get hold of any! A little cumin and cinnamon will do the trick too.
Before I hand you over to the recipe, just a little notice from me. Butter. Do NOT skimp on the butter. If you want golden-brown, crispy, crunchy, flaky filo pastry, use lashings of butter. Butter, pastry, cheese and a big handful of kale. The perfect balance of #health and real indulgence.
kale and feta spanakopita with toasted pine nuts
- 9 oz tuscan (lacinato) kale destemmed
- 1 small white onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped or crushed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 tsp baharat (you can sub with a cumin/cinnamon mix)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 7 oz feta cheese
- a few tbsp milk
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 stick butter melted
- 8 sheets filo pastry
Begin by preparing your kale. For ease, I like to finely chop mine in the food processor. Preheat the oven to 350f on the convection setting, or 400f on regular bake.
Next, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and the baharat, and cook for another minute or two, then tip the kale in.
Add the salt, stir well and cook over a medium-low heat for about 5-7 minutes until the kale has wilted slightly and reduced in volume.
Next, on to the feta! Pop it in the food processor, and with the motor running, add a little milk until you have a thick, smooth paste.
To prepare the filo, take one sheet and brush it generously with melted butter. Repeat until you have used 4 sheets. Spread half of the feta mixture along one edge, as if you were making a sushi roll.
Top it with half of the kale mixture and sprinkle with half the pine nuts. Gently roll the pastry around the filling, using a little more butter to seal the edge.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Gently, roll up each of your parcels into a swirl, as in the pictures above. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with more melted butter.
Bake for about 12 minutes, until golden-brown. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve!