May 10, 2011

Spanakopita - Spinach Pie

I love this dish made with fresh spinach, dill and parsley all tossed with  feta cheese and nestled between layers and layers of crisp filo dough. The trick to working with the filo is to keep it moist and cover it completely with olive oil after each layer is placed. This dish also has a bit of an earthy flavor because of the hint of nutmeg in the spinach mixture. Make sure your dough is completely thawed before using.


2 lbs of fresh spinach
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 c. onion chopped
2 T olive oil for sauteing
6 scallions sliced
1/2 c.  fresh dill chopped
1 c. fresh flat leafed parsley chopped
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups of crumbled feta cheese
Filo dough thawed
olive oil for spreading on the filo dough during the layering process

In a large pot sauté the garlic and onion in the 2 T of olive oil until soft and onion is transparent. Add the spinach in batches and cook until wilted. Place the wilted spinach in a colander and press out any excess liquid. Once all the spinach is wilted toss with the parsley dill and scallions then go ahead and add the egg and seasonings and toss again. (It may actually be easier to use your hands to toss.) Finally add the cheese and mix again, set aside.

In a 13 X9 inch glass baking dish, spread olive oil on the bottom to cover and lay down your first sheet of filo dough. While working with the dough dampen a paper towel and lay over the top of the open dough to prevent drying. Spread olive oil on the top of the sheet and then place another sheet on top and spread on olive oil. Repeat 5-6 more times. Then spread the spinach mixture on top. Make sure to again squeeze out any water which may have accumulated in the bottom of the bowl while it was sitting. This will prevent the bottom of the pie from becoming soggy when cooking. Then go on and repeat the filo dough layering process 7-8 more times. Cover the top sheet with olive oil and place into a hot oven heated to 375 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes until the top of the pie is a golden brown. Then remove from the oven and let the spinach pie cool slightly before slicing.

Enjoy this dish with grilled chicken legs and thighs which were marinated in a combination of Miracle Whip and Greek salad dressing. (I prefer Gazebo Room Greek Dressing & Marinade) Whisk the two together and marinate the chicken for 2 hours. (You can also par boil the chicken before marinating to cut down on the grilling time.)

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