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Onion Spanakopita (Braised Onion Pie)

Onion Spanakopita (Braised Onion Pie)

“Why can’t you help out more with the housework?”  I screamed at my husband early on Saturday.

I must have shocked him at six in the morning but I was tired and grumpy and the dogs were whimpering for a walk and I wanted him, for once, to take care of it.

“Where is this coming from?” he asked.  “I’m always walking the dogs, cooking and washing and YOU need to do your share!”  I told him.

Now, I know that arguing with your husband at six a.m. isn’t the best of ideas and no arguments get resolved so early in the morning, but I wouldn’t back down.  So back and forth we went about who was going to walk the dogs and why I thought he wasn’t “sharing the burden” (yes, those were my words) and how he thought I was crazy for bringing this up so early in the morning and after twenty minutes we never really got to any resolution.

Instead of dwelling on our fight, I decided to take my mind off things and bake this beautiful Braised Onion Pie which I saw from the cookbook of Gary Mehigan and George Colombaris called “Your Place or Mine”  The recipe is George’s take on his Mum’s Spanakopita, a Greek pie made with spinach and feta.  Instead of the spinach, George makes onions the star of this dish.  The dish is made with caramelized onions, shallots, garlic, leeks, ricotta and a beautiful crumbly Greek feta.

Onion Spanakopita

Onion Spanakopita

A word of caution, there is a lot of onions to go through with this dish.  I normally refrigerate my onions prior to slicing them which, at least for me, helps to prevent my crying while I slice them.  But on that morning, there were lots of tears.

It was worth it though.  I started cooking at 10:00 am and at 10:30 my husband took the dogs for a walk.  At 11:30 he came back and watered the plants…. at 12 noon he took the trash out.

Something was going on.  Could it be the smell of the sweet caramelized onions making him sorry?  Was he trying to make amends so he could have some lunch?

As we sat down for lunch I asked him why he was being so nice.

“I knew you were upset, I saw you crying and wanted to make it up to you.” he said.

Crying? Should I admit that it was the onions?

Or maybe wait for him to read this post… 🙂

Onion Spanakopita (Braised Onion Pie)

Onion Spanakopita (Braised Onion Pie)

Onion Spanakopita (Braised Onion Pie)

From Your Place or Mine? Gary Mehigan & George Calombaris

  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 400 grams firm ricotta cheese
  • 400 grams feta, crumbled
  • 18 sheets filo pastry
  • 200 ml butter
  • sea salt flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil over high heat in a heavy based sauce pan. Add the onions, shallots, garlic, leeks, picked thyme sprigs and bay leaves and cook out for around 5 minutes over high heat. Turn the heat down to low and cook the mixture gently until the onions are caramelized, this will take around 45 minutes. Make sure to stir frequently to prevent the onions from catching the bottom of the pan and burning.
  2. Allow the onion mixture to cool and remove the bay leaves. Mix in the ricotta and crumbled feta.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 170c fan-forced.
  4. Cut the sheets of filo to fit a baking tray (I used a baking tray measuring 30cm by 24 cm) and lay the sheets on top of some greaseproof or baking paper and then cover with a damp cloth to prevent drying and cracking. Take one sheet of filo and butter the bottom of the tray. Spread a layer of the filo and brush some butter to cover and then layer another sheet of filo and brush some more butter to cover. Repeat this with six more sheets, brushing some butter each time.
  5. Place half of the onion mixture on the filo sheets and spread evenly. Next, cover with three more buttered sheets of filo and then the remaining onion mixture. Finally, place another seven sheets of buttered filo (make sure you butter the last sheet).
  6. Bake the pie in a pre-heated oven for 45 minutes and serve warm. If you are making the pie in advance, you can reheat the pie in a 180c oven for 15 minutes.

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