Friday, January 2, 2009

Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)


During Christmas when my Mom was here, we made a run to Costco to pick up some things. Mom loves Costco for the very same reason that my girl's do...SNACKS!!! I can go through that place after taking them to skating on Saturday mornings and can almost get away without serving them lunch that day!!

Well Mom walked past the lady who was sampling the Spanakopita. They weren't quite ready yet. Mom decided to camp out until they were ready. Lucky for us it wasn't too long and she had her little triangle package of bliss...or was it? I tasted mine and my first thought was I can make this better!!! So I started searching for recipes and of course I didn't have to look too far!

Peter, one of my bestest buddies, at Kalofagas-Greek Food and Beyond was able to hook me up. Only thing was he made his own Phyllo Dough???!!! Very impressive but not what I had in mind. So I emailed him and we went back and forth a couple of times before I headed off to the grocery store to BUY some frozen phyllo dough.

This made for an incredible meal and even as large as the slices were the girls ate a whole one each.

I used a 9" Square baking pan and it worked perfectly for us!

Spanakopita (adapted from Kalofagas-Greek Food and Beyond)

Ingredients:

1 roll of frozen phyllo (filo) dough, thawed and ready to use
1 1/2 cups of ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
8 oz. feta cheese
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 bunch of scallions, sauteed in oil (softened)
2 boxes of frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
  • Mix all ingredients (but the phyllo dough) together and check for taste.
  • I used a 9" square pan and it worked fine. Grease your pan (bottom and sides with oil (best not to use olive oil or butter for this as it could burn).
  • Now you take the phyllo sheet by sheet and layer it in your pan, alternating directions. Use 12 sheets for the bottom and that will leave you 8 sheets for the top. When the bottom is layered melt some butter and add some olive oil and drizzle some on your bottom layer and spread with a pastry brush. Poke some random holes with a fork in the pastry.
  • Spread your spinach mixture evenly over then pastry. You will have pastry overlapping the sides of the pan.
  • Start layering the top layer of phyllo dough. Alternating directions. When all 8 pieces are on fold the edges together and roll down. Using your butter/oil mix be sure to coat the top layer well.
  • Cut through the top pastry layer to help avoid breaking your dough once cooked.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour in a 375 degree oven. When nicely browned remove from oven and cover with a clean tea towel for about 15 minutes.
This was so incredibly fast and easy! I know I didn't make the little triangles but this is much more practical for a meal. I will be making this again and again! My pie was definitely fuller than Peter's and he had cautioned me about overfilling it as it may ooze out. I think my filling was a bit thicker than it should have been so I didn't have that trouble and I liked it nice and thick! We served it with a green salad and it was a nice hearty meal! I may try my hand at making my own dough. See here for Peter's step by step instructions!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!

Judy
www.nofearentertaining.com

23 comments:

Elle said...

This is one of my favorite things EVER--it looks amazing! Only made it from scratch once (didn't make the phyllo, either), but it was so delicious. And you definitely have to have the dill in there--it brightens up the flavor of the spinach, doesn't it?

There's a huge Greek festival in town every year, that always falls right around my birthday, and my husband always makes sure he gets me a few pieces. Love it!

Peter M said...

Judy, you're going to put me out of business...this looks awesome...especially the pic showing the filling.

Thanks for trying out so may of my dishes and becoming a good ambassador of Greek food. OPA!

RecipeGirl said...

Hey, this turned out great. I love the little triangles so much, so the big triangles would work for me. Delicious!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This looks delicious Judy! I am a huge fan of spanikopita but have never attempted to make it myself...you are awesome!

Choosy Beggar Tina said...

'pita is one of my favorites, and going to Peter for inspiration was a great idea! You did a lovely job. Oh, and there's no way that I would make home made phyllo either. My motivation to be a good cook only goes so far.....

Colloquial Cook said...

Amazing! Vive Peter, as usual :-) I would so buy the phyllo too though, haha!

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Hey Elle-It's amazing but everyone seems to love this!!!

Hey Peter-Your dishes are wonderful but the hand holding is the best!!!

Hey RecipeGirl-This wasn't all pastry like the little ones are. More spinachy goodness!

Hey Jenn-This was easy. Give it a shot or I will make it when you guys come!

Hi CB Tina-Thank you and yes I hear that about the store bought phyllo!

Hi Colloquial Cook-Definitely vive Peter!

melissa said...

Peter's recipes are always a hit at my house too. He's marvelous.

And oh Judy... GREAT job. You have no idea how much I love spinach filling. I literally had a physical reaction reading your post, my body sort of lunged toward the screen.

I'm scared of dough and I still may try this.

pigpigscorner said...

Looks really yummy and I love spinach pie!

Daniel said...

This looks like an absolute work of art, thank you for sharing it.

Just stumbled onto your blog today for the first time and I'm throroughly enjoying going through your archives. Looking forward to more posts in 2009!

Dan
Casual Kitchen

5 Star Foodie said...

Looks amazing! We haven't had any greek food since summer, I'm definitely craving it now :)

Patsyk said...

I'd love a piece of that! That's one of my favorite dishes... now, I may have to try making it myself.

HoneyB said...

Looks awesome! I have had this made with tofu also and it is delicious!

Giff said...

this is absolutely the best way to show Peter up ;-)

Bellini Valli said...

This is our all time favourite Judy since my daughter was 2.

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons bring
the best to you and yours!

Bren said...

kudos to you for making it. i love love spanakopita, rarely eat it, but it's sooo good!

PaniniKathy said...

I really enjoy spanakopita but have never ventured to make it myself. Sounds easy enough for me to handle - I'd got this flagged to try soon!

gaga said...

Mmm, that looks fantastic! I love spanokopita.

kellypea said...

Absolutely gorgeous! So puffy and golden. I can imagine the flavor. Nice job on that one, Judy. Definitely something I have to try myself.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Happy New Year, Judy! :-)
I have never worked with phyllo dough before and have always wanted to!
And Costco...boy, I love Costco...my husband loves the sample tables, too...we have a ball going to each one and sampling the various treats!

Darius T. Williams said...

I LOVE this dish...I order it all the time when I go out! This one looks great!

-Darius
www.everydaycookin.com

Gretchen Noelle said...

I love the square shape! How fun!

MrOrph said...

What a great looking dish Judy. My stepfather used to make this a lot when I was a kid. I have never ventured to make it myself tho.