Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)
I love Spanakopita. I never really liked spinach. When my aunt make spinach, we were forced to eat it – or just look at that pile of green stuff on our plate while the other kids went to play after dinner. Stuck at that table with a lump of quickly cooling, oozing green nastiness. Then, I grew up and learned to like green things. With lots of butter & salt.
Spinach pie: fresh spinach or frozen? My attempts at fresh spinach for spanakopita failed. It tasted like dirt even though I washed and washed. I prefer frozen now, because there is a lot less fuss over preparation. You don’t have to cook it through, since it is already wilted, but I fold mine into my sauteed, seasoned veggies, and cook it just a little to warm it up, and let some of the steam or remaining moisture evaporate.
Seasonings are better when fresh, such as dill and parsley. I almost never have the fresh stuff, so if you do, double the amount used. And use as much onion & green onion as you see fit. I like to combine the two, or sometimes leave out the green onion. About 1 medium white or yellow onion and a half-bunch of green onion makes a good base to complement the spinach.
Spanakopita cheese: just feta, or feta and ricotta? This is a personal preference – the feta did not provide enough richness to my liking, so I combine both feta and ricotta cheese for a rich, creamy tasty Greek spinach pie. Try it with cottage cheese, if that’s your thing.
During assembly, you want to keep they phyllo dough moist, so I put a very lightly moistened paper towel over the top of my sheet pile.
Then, after each layer of pastry sheet, I dab the whole layer, end-to-end with olive oil.
Before the last two or three layers, I fold the edges in and over the top.
Bake at 350° F for 35 minutes.
Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 c green onions, chopped optional
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 16 oz frozen spinach, drained well
- 2 T parsley
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ½ c ricotta cheese
- 1 c feta cheese crumbles
- 1 t dill weed
- ⅛ t nutmeg
- 1 package phyllo dough, thawed
- ¾ c olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9×9 baking pan.
- Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sautee onions & garlic until soft and lightly brown. Add spinach, parsley and seasonings. Mix and cook until heated through (about a minute). Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a medium bowl, mix eggs and cheese. Stir into spinach mixture.
- Lay 1 sheet of dough in pan and brush lightly with oil. Lay another sheet of dough, brush with oil and repeat with 2 more sheets. Give it another light coating of oil, ensuring all layers are coated end to end.
- Spread spinach and cheese mixture into pan and fold overhanging dough over filling. Layer the remaining 4 sheets of dough with adequate oil between each layer and on top, then tuck overhanging dough into pan to seal.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.