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Saturday, November 14, 2009



Spanakopita is one of Greece’s gift to mankind. Feta cheese and spinach encased in flaky phyllo pastry cannot possibly be bad. As I don’t make my own phyllo pastry (maybe one day if I win the lottery and become a housewife I will), this recipe is pretty fast to make.


To start off with you need a regular onion and some green onions. If you don’t have any green onions you can leave them out but I like the taste that they add, less acrid and more fresh. Oh yes, I also added oregano, a little bit of basil, salt, pepper and roasted garlic paste.


Next you need feta, and lots of it. I had Greek feta in the fridge but feel free to use whatever kind of feta you have on hand. You could always use some other kind of non-Greek cheese but then again Zeus might strike you down with a lightning bolt and I just can’t have that on my conscience.


Obviously you need a bucket load of spinach. I would like to kiss the people who decided to start selling pre-washed baby spinach. They make my life much easier. I know I am terribly imprecise when it comes to measurements but get a lot. Spinach shrinks to nothing once it is cooked so always buy more than you think you will need.

This is a batch of spinach in the pan along with the onions before cooking…


and after cooking. This is actually the entire package of spinach that I had bought, so as you can see, once heat is applied it becomes a shadow of its former self.


A word to the wise: when you are scooping your Spanakopita filling into your mixing bowl try to squeeze as much liquid out as you can. If you don’t do this your hard efforts will be rewarded with mushy phyllo pastry.
In the bowl I added an egg to help bind everything together…


as well as all of the feta cheese. This all got mixed well as I wanted to make sure that the cheese didn’t all end up at the bottom of the bowl.


Phyllo pastry is one of those things that I always keep in the freezer. One of the things I love about it is that you can thaw the package and refreeze whatever you didn’t use and it will not affect the quality. I don’t remember how many sheets of phyllo I used but it was around 6-8. I was almost at the end of the package so I used everything that was left. To make the phyllo extra crispy I brushed every layer with melted better. The sheets tear easily but given that there are so many layers it is not even noticeable.

I cut the sheets into long wide strips and put around 1/4 of a cup of filling on each before rolling them up. I have to confess that I was inordinately proud of the fact that I was able to fold them in nice little squares. The first time that I made Spanakopita I cut the strips way too thin and had to make them into rolls. Before the Spanakopitas went into the oven I brushed them with more butter. Yes, this is not diet food, that is probably also why it tastes so good.


After 30 minutes in the oven they came out nice and golden.


As much as I wanted to to taste them right away I let them sit for a few minutes so I wouldn’t completely burn the roof of my mouth. They were really good, very cheesy and filling. The layers of phyllo were nice and flaky and crispy. This would make a great vegetarian meal as it is substantial enough so nobody goes hungry even though there is no meat.
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