Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

This is a recipe from Greece. It is a delicious, flaky spanakopita - a spinach pie in a phyllo pastry shell.

I have eaten spanakopita in Greek restaurants and always wanted to try it.

The prep time is long but the end results were awesome! This would be a great recipe to make with family. There are a lot of simple but distinct steps and multiple people would cut down on the prep time.

The recipe after I halved it is given below. I adjusted the proportion of onion to cater to the taste of my family.

You will need
1 box of baby spinach
1 box frozen whole wheat phylo dough sheets
1 red onion
2 shallots
7-8 scallion, white and some green
1 leak,, white and some green
a bunch dill
6 oz. feta cheese crumbles
1 egg
1 pod garlic
1 tsp. grated nutmeg
salt and black pepper to taste

To start defrost the frozen phyllo dough. Chop the baby spinach and put it in a large mixing bowl.

Chop red onion, shallots, scallion, leeks, garlic and the dill. Add it to the spinach.

Add the feta cheese crumble. Grate nutmeg and fresh ground black pepper over the mixture.

Now is the time to get your hands dirty. Mix and knead the mixture until the volume reduces to a fourth of the original. It is amazing how the mixture comes together.

Pick up a handful of the spinach mixture and squeeze out the juice.

Place the spinach in another bowl. Continue until all the spinach is in another bowl and the liquid remains. Add couscous to the liquid and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.

The couscous will expand and absorb the liquid.

Now put the spinach back into the bowl with the liquid. Season with salt, note that feta is salty. Add black pepper if needed. Add an egg and mix well.

The filling is ready.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare a mixture of butter and oil. Grease the casserole dish. Cut the phyllo dough sheets to fit the dish and keep under a damp towel. Using butter and oil mixture coat a sheet of dough and place it in the dish. Using another 9 sheets cover the bottom and sides of the dish completely. Coat every alternate sheet with the butter and oil mixture. Let the sheets overhang from the sides. Spoon in the filling into the dish.

Spread the filling evenly in the dish.

Fold the dough hanging over the sides and smooth it out. Place another 6-9 sheets to cover the top coating every alternate sheet with the butter and oil mixture.

Cut the pie into squares. Ensure the knife goes through all the layers to the bottom of the dish.

Place in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour. The top of the pie should be a golden brown.

Serve hot.

The pie tastes just as good the next day. Leftovers can be warmed in the microwave.


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