Saturday, August 5

Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie)

Because my inquiry for The Perfect Scone is still full going, I unfortunately have to report that it’ll take a bit longer. But don’t worry, results are still being booked and with every adjustment there is improvement.
(the only backside is that every day I stumble on more and more recipes...)

In the meantime I though it might be nice to share the recipe for Greek spinach pie with you guys; my ultimate favorite dish.

Just look at it; it’s perfect.
I simply can’t resist it; even now I’m already a little drooling…
It’s the best food you can EVER serve me. (OK, this is maybe a bit of an overstatement; I can change my mind on this later on, with al the recent baking, but for NOW it certainly is!)

When I have a slice, I think of my vacation to Greece, where I first tasted this delicious tart and ate it happily and relaxed as lunch in the cafeteria by the beach… *sigh*

The phyllo dough is wonderfully crisp (but not hard!) and dry and becomes beautifully golden brown in the oven. This paired with the slightly moist and overwhelming strong and rich taste of spinach is magnificent. Its very light and compact pastry and it’s very nice to serve on a party buffet. I like it best when it’s served cold.
The leftovers (if there are any…) are as well delicious to eat the next day; the spinach becomes than even stronger and the puff pastry will be slightly softer and oozier. Best to serve straight out of the fridge.

Greek spinach pie

- 3 Tbsp olive oil + more for brushing
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 kg spinach, rinsed and chopped
- a handful fresh parsley
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 125 g ricotta cheese
- about 125g FRESH feta cheese, crumbled
- 8 sheets phyllo dough

1. Take the phyllo dough out of the freezer, preheat oven to 175˚C and lightly oil a 24 cm (or a bit smaller…) round spring form.

2. Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Sauté onion, garlic and green onions, until they’re soft and lightly browned. Stir in, in parts, the spinach and parsley, continue to sauté until the spinach is limp. This will take about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. In a medium bow, mix together eggs, ricotta and feta. Stir in the spinach mixture.

4. Lay one sheet of phyllo dough in the spring form and lightly brush it with olive oil. (do this carefully, it’s important that every part get brushed!) Lay another sheet on top of this, brush with olive oil and repeat this process until you have 4 layers of phyllo dough. (it doesn’t matter if the sheets cover a bit of the pans sides)

5. Spread spinach mixture into the pan. Layer the remaining 4 sheets of phyllo dough on top of this, each carefully brushed with olive oil. Tuck overhanging dough into the pan to seal the filling.
6. Bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown. (I my case this doesn’t happen, so I also put the broiler on for about 10 minutes.) Take the pie out of his form and serve hot or cold.


UnGourmetGal said...

I love spanakopita, but I don't see it in many restaurants where I live, so sadly I haven't eaten it for quite awhile. I'm glad that the recipe looks so easy, most of ingredients I have on hand except for the phyllo sheets. If I get around to making it, I'll let you know how it went.

Richard of Oregon said...

This is something my wife and I both love. To simplfy, I use butter flavored Pam instead of melted butter. Also, recently saw in a restaurant that they rolled the mixture in about 1/4 inch wrap of the phyllo dough, then cut into 6 inch lengths. Very nice and much easier for an old, clumsy coot like me.