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Greek Spinach Pie

December 8, 2010

I’ve decided to seriously consider a trip to Greece in the near future. It’s going to be awesome. In honor of Greece, I made a spinach pie the other night. You may know it by the name “spanakopita.” In my family, there’s a great recipe to make appetizer-type triangles of spanakopita, but I wanted to try my hand at a more entree-friendly approach.  Here’s what I came up with!  It’s best fresh out of the oven, but it did handle well for lunches too.

You will need:

  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 3 boxes (10 oz each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 T basil
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 t pepper
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 c part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 T butter or margarine
  • 16 sheets of filo dough (you can find this in the freezer section, just follow the box directions to get it ready for use)

Then you…

  1. Finely chop 3 of the garlic cloves.
  2. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped garlic cloves, the onion and the scallions. Saute about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are just starting to soften.
  3. Mix in the spinach and continue to cook, another 3 or so minutes, to allow any extra water to cook out.
  4. Remove from the heat. Stir in the oregano, basil, salt, pepper, lemon zest and lemon juice. Allow the mixture to cool.
  5. In a small mixing bowl, combine the beaten egg with the ricotta. Stir this mixture into the cooled spinach. Mix in the feta cheese.
  6. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Cut the remaining 3 garlic cloves in half and toss into the melting butter. Allow to cook on the lowest heat for about 5-10 minutes or enough to infuse the garlic flavor without making any brown butter.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350. lightly spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  8. Start with the filo dough. It will dry out very quickly, so place it on wax paper and cover with a damp towel.
  9. Remove one sheet and place in the baking dish. Brush with the garlic butter. Repeat with 7 more sheets.
  10. Spread the spinach-feta mixture across the dough.
  11. Top with the remaining 8 sheets of dough, one at a time as before.
  12. Bake 50-60 minutes or until the dough is cooked through and turning golden.
  13. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving!

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