Meatless Meals (I Wish) My Mother Made

We had some phyllo dough left over (from a recipe that didn’t turn out well — you won’t be seeing it here!). What to make with phyllo dough but spanakopita! The recipe I ended up using was from allrecipes.com.

It didn’t come together the way the recipe suggested (I had three layers instead of two, which might be why it cooked longer than recommended), but it turned out to be quite tasty! I used a combination of fresh and frozen-but-somewhat-thawed spinach because that’s what I had, and it worked just fine. I also used about half of the feta (I don’t like feta in large quantity) and it was good. I think using as much as was called for would have been tasty as well.

In reading the comments on this and other similar recipes, there were many suggestions to take the time to really let the mixture cool before putting everything together (you’ll see that in the directions) and to make sure the spinach is well-drained. Otherwise, the phyllo gets very soggy. I did both and had no troubles with soggy phyllo. That said, it does take quite a bit longer to prepare if you let it sit out and cool, so plan for that.

What is interesting to me about this dish is that in general, I don’t like a lot of cooked spinach. For example, spinach lasagna needs to be somewhat light on the spinach in order to be pleasing to my palate. (I can eat raw spinach all day.) But in this, the spinach-heaviness doesn’t bother me a bit. Not sure why.

Spanakopita

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds spinach, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly oil a 9×9 inch square baking pan.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, green onions and garlic, until soft and lightly browned. Stir in spinach and parsley, and continue to saute until spinach is limp, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, ricotta, and feta. Stir in spinach mixture. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough in prepared baking pan, and brush lightly with olive oil. Lay another sheet of phyllo dough on top, brush with olive oil, and repeat process with two more sheets of phyllo. The sheets will overlap the pan. Spread spinach and cheese mixture into pan and fold overhanging dough over filling. Brush with oil, then layer remaining 4 sheets of phyllo dough, brushing each with oil. Tuck overhanging dough into pan to seal filling.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve while hot.
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