I love this recipe as it reminds me of sharing school lunches with my Greek and Macedonian school friends at the very multicultural primary school I went to; then my delight in discovering that this was among my sister's mother in law's staples. I love it when she makes these lovely squares.
1 bunch spinach or silverbeet
40g (½ cup) finely grated hard cheese such as kefalograviera, parmesan or pecorino
2 tbsp dry breadcrumbs
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tspfreshly ground black pepper
60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
2 dill sprigs, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
375 gfresh (not frozen) filo pastry
125g butter, melted
preheat the oven to 180°C
trim the roots from the spinach or if using silverbeet, cut out the stems. Wash leaves and drain well. Coarsely shred and set aside (see Note)
place the feta in a large bowl and roughly mash with a fork. Add the ricotta, hard cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, pepper, oil, dill and spring onions. Mix with the fork to combine. Place the spinach or silverbeet on top and mix lightly with your hands
lightly oil or butter a 20 cm x 30 cm x 5 cm baking dish. Lay the filo out on a work surface. Line the dish with a sheet of filo and brush it with butter. Top with another sheet of filo brushed with butter and continue until about half the filo is used. When not using the filo, cover it with a dry tea towel and then a damp one to keep it from drying out
use your hand or a large metal spoon to gently mix the spinach filling until thoroughly combined. Tip into the filo base and spread out evenly. Layer with the remaining sheets of filo brushed with butter, ensuring the final sheet is well buttered. Trim off any overhanging pastry and tuck in the sides
use a sharp knife to score the pastry into diamonds. Pierce the pastry once or twice to allow air to escape during baking. Sprinkle lightly with water and bake in the oven for 45–60 minutes or until well browned.
gently shake the baking dish; the spanakopita should slide easily when it is cooked. Cover with foil if it is over-browning.
cool on a rack for 15 minutes before serving