Thursday, 23 February 2012

Spanakopita- Spinach and Feta Pie

"I'm strong to the finish, cause I eats my spinach. I'm Popeye the sailor man!" TOOT TOOT

Spanakopita is a delicious Greek savoury pie. It is made in a large tray or as individual triangles.

 Greek's pronounced SPANA-KO-PEE-TA- emphasis on the KO, not SPANA-KOPITA  said quickly with the emphasis on the PITA. 
This is for my husband who is the only person with Greek on his father's side and can't pronounce anything properly in should hear him say SOUVLAKI! 

The spinach and feta is sandwiched between layers of flaky Phyllo pastry. (I just have to say it...I go crazy when people call it FY-LOW pastry, it just drives me nuts for some reason. It's pronounced FEE- LO)

OPA! Now that I have that off my chest lets move on!

What you need:

  • 15 oz of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 onion chopped fine
  • 15 oz of Greek Feta (get the imported- for me there is no comparison)
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 chopped green onions/scallions
  • fresh nutmeg (5-6 scrapes on the grater)
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil
  • salt/pepper
  • Box of Phyllo pastry -thawed (or if you can get fresh from a Greek bakery even better)
  • butter/olive oil for brushing pastry

Step 1:  In a large pot fry onions with salt, pepper and a few tbsp of olive oil until softened and slightly browned.

Step 2: add spinach 1 bag at a time (I have used 2 bags of baby spinach they came in a 9oz and a 6 oz size) and continue cooking for approx 5-7 minutes until spinach has all wilted and cooked down to a little pile

Step 3: remove from pan and allow to cool in a colander. Once cooled you can start to squeeze out as much water as possible from the spinach with your hands. At this point I add to paper towels to continue to squeeze and dry spinach as much as possible. Then chop finely. You could also do this with frozen spinach.

Step 4: in a bowl add crumbled feta, dried spinach, egg, lemon juice, green onions, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix until combined.

Step 5: mix some melted butter or what I normally do is add  a half a stick of melted butter to 1/2 the amount of olive oil. I use a small glass dish (this one is 8 x10) and start by buttering the bottom and sides of the dish with butter/oil. Layer a sheet of Phyllo and brush on more butter/oil. I continue the same way until I have 6-7 sheets layered and buttered. This is a small recipe by most Greek standards.
 I think its perfect for 6 servings.

Step 6: add my filling

Step 7: start to fold up each layer individually and brush on more butter/oil between each later.  Once all layers are folded add a final layer of melted butter/oil to the top.

Step 8: slice into the portion size you like with a sharp knife. I like to use a glass dish so that I don't damage 
the pan . Glass can handle me cutting it in the pan while a metal baking pan would get damaged.

Step 9: Bake at 350 until golden brown and bubbling. Serve warm or room temp. 

If you have leftovers then you can cover and refrigerate however, the phyllo will get soggy in the fridge. To refresh/reheat the Spanakopita you can easily put in the oven at 350 for a few minutes and the top will crisp up again.  

Don't you want to cook that!?

1 comment:

  1. You've passed the test..Big Pete must know a great spanakopita when he tastes it!

    Love it!