Recipes from Love Your Lunch

SPANAKOPITA

Spanakopita2

Makes 6 pies.

For the filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 bunch fresh dill, chopped
1 1/2 large leeks, white and tender green
parts only, chopped
3 spring onions (scallions), chopped
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) spinach, frozen
salt and black pepper
375 g (13 oz) feta cheese
2 medium eggs, beaten

For the pastry
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
250 ml (8 fl oz) water
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 large eggs, beaten
sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F).

Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan and sauté the dill, leeks and spring onions over medium heat. Add the spinach and cover, leaving over low heat to defrost the spinach, about
10 minutes, then stir together. Season to taste. Once the filling has cooled, crumble the feta into the mixture and fold in the eggs.

For the pastry, pile the flour on the work surface and make a hole in the middle: you want it to look like a little volcano. Put the salt, olive oil, water and white wine vinegar in the crater and knead it all together until you have a good texture to roll out. Roll the dough out to 2.5 mm (1/8 inch).

Using a plate of about 22 cm (8 1/2 inches), cut out 6 circles of dough. Brush the edge of the circle with half of the egg. Separate your spinach mixture into 6 portions. Lay the mixture on the lower half of each circle, leaving the edges clear, and fold the upper half of the pastry on top. Press the sides together using a fork. Brush the tops with the remaining egg.

Place the spanakopitas on a baking tray lined with baking paper, and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Download printable recipe (PDF)

 
CLASSIC MEATLOAF

Classic Meatloaf2

1/4 loaf day-old crusty bread such as ciabatta
85 g (3 oz) bacon, cut into 5 mm (1/4 inch) cubes
2 medium white onions, finely chopped
6 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
1.25 kg (2 lb 12 oz) minced meat, 1/2 beef, 1/2 pork
2 eggs
4 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
4 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
12 tablespoons ketchup (tomato sauce)
sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion

Preheat the oven the 175°C (350°F). Toast the bread until dry and crumbly enough to turn into a powder. We blitz it in a mixer, but it can be done by hand. If you use your hand, make sure the crumbs are powdery or you’ll get a chewy meatloaf. Crisp the bacon in a frying pan until well-browned and crunchy. Use a spoon to transfer to a large mixing bowl, and leave the fat in the pan. Add the onions to the pan and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the parsley, and sweat it over low heat for a couple of minutes. Transfer to the bowl and add the meat, eggs, mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, half the ketchup, and salt and pepper. With your hands, fold everything together really well but without over-kneading it.

Transfer the mixture to a clean work surface and shape into an oval loaf about 30 cm (12 inches)long. Don’t press down on it–you want to keep it in log form. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil, remaining ketchup and the granulated onion over low heat. Using a large spoon, glaze the meatloaf with this sauce and transfer to the oven. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Download printable recipe (PDF)

 
PECAN PIE

Pecan Pie3

Serves 8

For the pastry
280 g (10 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
50 g (1 3/4 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
170 g (6 oz) unsalted butter
2 eggs, hard-boiled
1 egg

For the filling
65 g (2 1/4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
100 g (3 1/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
100 g (3 1/2 oz) golden caster or white caster (superfine) sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons rum
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
120 ml (4 fl oz) maple syrup
5 heaped handfuls pecans, unsalted

Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). For the pastry, sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Remove the yolks from the hard-boiled eggs and discard the whites. Push the yolks through a fine sieve with a spoon to create a sandy-coloured powder. Add to the dry ingredients, then add the egg and whisk everything together. Don’t over-mix. If you use a kitchen mixer, the hook attachment works the best for this.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to fit a fluted, 23 cm (9 inch) round tart tin, preferably with a removable bottom. Press the pastry into the tin to about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick, then press it up into the sides of the tin with your fingers. Refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight.

For the filling, place the butter in a metal mixing bowl, let it soften, then whip by hand until smooth. Add both the sugars, whip again by hand, then add the eggs, rum, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Mix well, but not so that it gets foamy. Then add the pecans and mix well. Take the pastry out of the refrigerator, pour in the filling, and bake for 45 minutes.

Download printable recipe (PDF)