Recipe | Spinach, Leek, Zucchini & Feta Bake

Belinda Jeffery is a food writer, cookbook author and one of Australia’s most loved home cooks. She is known for using fresh, seasonal ingredients to create simple and wholesome dishes.

Belinda exudes a delightfully warm and thoughtful presence on social media. Her dedicated Instagram followers look forward to her regular Sunday posts from her kitchen and garden, and the local farmers’ market.

Being a cook was Belinda’s childhood dream. She published her first cookbook in 2002 and since then has published several other popular cookbooks. Now, In Belinda’s Kitchen: Essential Recipes is here.

Recipes include roasted red capsicum, smoked paprika and tomato soup and this Spinach, leek, zucchini and feta bake – both of which we have shared to give you a wee taste of what you can expect from this endearing collection of Belinda’s recipes.

RECIPE — Spinach, leek, zucchini and feta bake

— Words and recipe extracted from In Belinda’s Kitchen: Essential Recipes by Belinda Jeffery

This is one of those lovely mix-and-match dishes where you can use up all sorts of vegetables, herbs and odds and ends of cheese that happen to be lurking in the fridge. Just make sure the amounts of all these bits and pieces roughly correspond to the quantities in the recipe.




2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 leeks, washed thoroughly and finely chopped

500g spinach

6 zucchini (courgettes) (about 400g total weight)

2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped dill, mint or basil

40g fine dry breadcrumbs

200g marinated feta, crumbled

150g haloumi, crumbled

heaped ²⁄³ cup (about 60g) freshly grated parmesan

sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

6 × 60g eggs, lightly beaten


dill or mint sprigs, optional


steamed new potatoes

tomato salad drizzled with olive oil


Preheat your oven to 180°C. Lightly butter a 25cm × 6cm round ovenproof dish and line the base with buttered baking paper. Set it aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the leeks and cook them, stirring regularly, for 2–3 minutes, or until they have just wilted. Take them off the heat, scrape them into a large bowl and leave them to cool a bit.

Steam the spinach for 2–3 minutes, or until it is a brilliant green and has wilted. Drain it in a colander and refresh it under cold running water. Squeeze it to get rid of as much moisture as possible. Fluff it up a bit, chop it coarsely and  add it to the leeks.

Steam the zucchini for 2–3 minutes, or until they have softened a little. Drain and refresh them under cold water. Pat them dry and chop all bar one small zucchini into little chunks. Slice the remaining zucchini into slender strips and put them aside.

Add the zucchini chunks to the veggie bowl, along with the parsley, dill (or mint or basil), breadcrumbs, cheeses (reserving a little of each for the garnish), salt and pepper. Toss everything together until it’s thoroughly combined. Pour in the beaten eggs and mix them in well.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared dish and press down on it so it’s firmly packed. Press the slender zucchini strips into the top and scatter on the reserved cheeses.

Put the dish in the oven and bake it for 45 minutes, or until it’s just set but still moist. To check, insert the tip of a fine knife down into the middle and press the two sides of the cut apart, then have a peek, it should look moist but set.

When it’s ready, sit it on a rack to settle for about 5 minutes. Loosen the bake around the edges and invert it onto a flat plate, peeling away the paper. Sit a serving platter on top and re-invert it onto the platter. (You may find some juices seep out initially; if they do, mop them up with paper towel.) You can sprinkle herb sprigs on top, if you like, but there’s quite a lot happening already! Serve the bake warm or at room temperature. It’s lovely served with steamed new potatoes and a tomato salad drizzled with a little fruity olive oil.

TRY ANOTHER OF BELINDA JEFFERY’S RECIPES: Roasted Red Capsicum, Smoked Paprika & Tomato Soup — Recipe by Belinda Jeffery

Recipe extracted from In Belinda’s Kitchen: Essential Recipes by Belinda Jeffery

(Published by Simon & Schuster Australia. RRP $49.99. Food photography © Rodney Weidland, Illustrations © Daniel New)

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