I don’t know since when, but spinach and cheese is one of my favourite combinations ever ! It’s the perfect combination of comfort and healthy! I made this vegan version a couple of years ago.
But wanted to try something different with more cheesy flavours and stumbled upon this one from the Vegan Word by Caitlin. I was particularly excited with the idea of making some vegan cheese: Feta & ricotta.
Note: The prep needs to be done the 1 day beforehand! (vegan cheeses and leave phyllo pastry in the fridge if it’s in the freezer)
(Some ingredients have me substituted/altered. Original recipe here)
For the spanakopita/pie:
- 8-10 sheets of phyllo pastry (many storebought versions are vegan, but check the ingredients to make sure)
- 750 g (around 1.5 lbs) of fresh spinach
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 8 green onions, green parts only, chopped
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- 1 recipe vegan feta (see below)
- 1 recipe vegan ricotta (see below)
- Melted vegan margarine or olive oil
For the vegan ricotta (need food processor):
- 200 g drained and pressed extra firm tofu
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
For the vegan feta:
- 200 g extra firm tofu, crumbled roughly to feta-size chunks
- 1 tbsp white miso
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
- 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1-2 tsp dried Italian herb blend
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
While this recipe seemed quite complicated at the beginning, it really wasn’t once broken down. I made the feta and ricotta cheese the day before.
- Vegan feta: In a medium bowl, add the drained and crumbled tofu, miso, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, Italian herb, nutritional yeast. Mix it all together with a fork. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight
- Vegan ricotta: In a food processor add cashews, lemon juice, olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, pinch of salt and nutritional yeast. Blend until it forms into a thick paste. In a medium bowl mix in the crumbled/drained tofu and paste with a fork. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350º C. Lightly, grease a 9×12 pan with olive oil. Melt some vegan margarine. Add in the first phyllo sheet (make sure it’s no frozen, that was my mistake because I forgot to defrost so there were some cracks!) Then brush the margarine on top. Add another layer and repeat until half of the phyllo sheets have been used. Bake for 15 min and set aside.
- For the mixture: In a pan heat some oil. Add in the onion and then the garlic and green onions until fragrant. Around 2-3 minutes. Next add in salt, pepper and nutmeg. Then in super low heat I added the spinach and cooked covered until it shrank in size. You might have to do it in 2-3 batches. Once first bath of spinach is cooked, remove from heat and add the other ones until they’re all cooked. Drain excess water from the mixture
- Mix the ‘cheeses’ and spinach mixture in a big bowl. Once combined, spread the spinach mix on top of the pre-baked phyllo pastry. Even it out and start layering the fresh phyllo, brush margarine and repeat until finished.
- Put pie in oven for 20-30 min. Oven temperatures might vary so check after the first 15 min to make sure it’s ok. Pie will be ready once the edges are a nice golden brown!
- Set aside and allow 10 minutes to cool down. Enjoy! Thanks to Vegan Word by Caitlin for your original recipe!