I love the traditional spinach & feta Greek pie, but I wanted to have a go at making a vegan version, where I wouldn’t be using a couple of sticks of butter for the phyllo. I also love to substitute firm tofu for the feta as the textures are pretty similar. Preparing phyllo pastry can always be a bit fiddly, but this is sooooooo worth the effort. I made this pie, which serves 6 for the 3 of us (husband, daughter & I,) and there was a tiny square left. Also think about it.. a 10 year old eating spinach and chard?? (this pie is packed with it but fully disguised because of all the good flavors).
You can use any mushrooms, but because I spotted some lovely Shitake mushrooms at the market, I grabbed them as they have so many health benefits. As you can see from the photo, I barely had any light left to take the photo ( I always rely on natural daylight,) the sun was almost gone from the end of my yard, so I held up the plate in the last few golden rays – still you get the idea!
Vegan Mushroom & Chard Spanakopita
2 tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
2 large brown onions, chopped
2 cups Shitake or brown mushrooms, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped (seems like a lot but you need the flavor)
1tbsp fresh Oregano or 1tsp of dried
1 bunch of Swiss Chard, stalks & spines removed
1 bag of baby spinach
1 14oz container extra firm tofu, drained
Grated zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
1tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 box phyllo pastry dough
Olive oil for brushing the phyllo
In a large frying pan, heat the oil and add the onions, mushrooms, garlic and herbs. Turn the heat down to low and cover the pan. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the onions are soft.
Steam and drain the greens together, and when they are cool, make sure you squeeze out any excess water and chop them well.
In a large bowl, mash the tofu, add the onion mixture and the greens, combining everything really well. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, olives, black pepper and salt.
Grease a 3 ¼ quart baking dish.
Unroll the phyllo sheets carefully. Try pulling the first sheet off and add it to bottom of dish, brush with olive oil and then add the next sheet – continue up to 5 sheets. Many of my sheets came apart and I made a total mess - however, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have perfectly smooth/unbroken sheets – I PROMISE Add the filling. Finally, lay another 8 greased phyllo sheets on top of the pie.
Place in the oven for 60 minutes or until golden brown.