1500 E. Republic Road
Springfield, MO 65804
Monday, February 11, 2019
Spanakopita - Enjoy a Greek Spinach Pie
Several years ago, my good friend Maria Savvenas was a guest chef at Harter House World Flavors Sampling Station she demonstrated how to make Spanakopita, a Greek Spinach Pie.
At that time, I had eaten it before but had never made it myself. So I watched her put them together into small triangles and of course, she made it look SO easy. So I purchased all the ingredients and decided I would attempt to make them at home. Which I did do. It was time consuming, it took me at least 3 hours, but OMG, it was so worth it. I did get faster the next time because I then had a better understanding of the process. The time consuming part is taking the Fillo Dough, one sheet at a time, and basting each sheet with butter, using 4 sheets for each triangle, and trying to get them right on top of the 1st sheet. Today I feel like a pro. I make it often, my family loves it, and I love to take it when I need to "bring a dish" to my holiday parties.
Working with Phyllo Dough
I put wax paper on the counter, unroll the Fillo dough on the wax paper, and put another piece of wax paper on top of the phyllo dough, then put a damp towel on top to keep the phyllo dough from drying out. It's nearly impossible to work with the Fillo dough after it starts to dry out.
I was able to get 16 Spanakopita triangles from this recipe and 1 box of Athen's Fillo Dough.
Maria also told me that if I want to make a lot for a large group that I can use a 9x13 pan, putting phyllo dough on the bottom of the pan, then the mixture, another layer of Fillo Dough and mixture, and top with more phyllo dough sheets. Same process of buttering each layer.
1 lb. Spinach (baby – Large Container)
2 Leeks – chopped
Large Onion – chopped
1 bunch Green onion – Chopped
2-3 cloves of Garlic – Chopped or minced
2 Cups Crumbled Feta
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 lb. Fillo Dough
1 cup salted butter, melted
1) Remove fillo from Freezer and put it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. As you prepare the filling, remove fillo from the fridge and leave on the counter
2) Sauté onion, leeks, green onion and garlic over medium high heat until softened. Add Spinach, wilting the leaves. Remove pan from heat. Add Salt, pepper, dill, and feta mixing well. Then add slightly beaten eggs, stirring well – to blend the ingredients. Set mixture aside.
3) Unroll fillo dough from package. Lay it out flat on the countertop. Wet a dishtowel to cover the fillo you are not using to keep it from drying out. Use a sharp knife to cut fillo in half lengthwise to create two columns of equal size. Cover one column with a damp towel. Use other column to begin assembling.
4) Take one sheet and brush with melted butter, and then place another sheet on top of the buttered side and brush with butter again. Repeat until you have four layers of fillo.
5) Place butter fillo in front of you lengthwise. (The wider side toward you)
Drain spinach mixture in a colander. Press mixture with the back of a spoon to remove excess moisture. Take a Tbl. of spinach mixture and place it on the bottom inside corner of the fillo. Take the corner of the dough, underneath the spinach mixture so that the corner meets flush with the other side. Continue folding until there is no more fillo and you have a triangle.
6) Repeat until fillo or mixture is gone. Place on a baking sheet and brush each triangle with more butter
7) Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the fillo dough is golden.
I like to use Plugra European Butter.
I also like Athenos Feta Cheese. Plain or mix it up with flavored varieties.
I like to chop all my vegetables before I start. They tend to cook faster than I can cut.
Open a bottle of your favorite wine and consume while cooking.