Spanakopitta (Spinach & Cheese Pie)

  • 2 lb spinach
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 T olive oil (plus 6 more if using to brush the pastry)
  • 4 T dill or parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 oz feta cheese
  • 2 T kefalotiri or Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Large pinch of nutmeg
  • Pepper
  • 1 lb filo pastry
  • 4 oz melted butter (if not using olive oil to brush pastry)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

First make the filling. Cut away the spinach stems and wash the leaves thoroughly. Drain and squeeze out the water, then shred the leaves. In a large saucepan gently fry the onion and spring onions in 2 T of the olive oil. Add the spinach, dill or parsley and stir until the spinach is soft and the liquid has evaporated. Allow to cool.

Beat the eggs lightly in a bowl. Add the feta cheese, mashed with a fork, and the kefalotiri or Parmesan cheese, the spinach mixture (drained of its juice), nutmeg and pepper and stir well. Brush a rectangular baking tin with oil or melted butter. The tin should be about 15 x 11 inches or a little smaller than the sheets of filo. Place half the sheets of filo at the bottom, one on top of another. Brush each sheet with oil or melted butter and let the edges come up the sides of the tin. Spread the filling evenly on top,  fold over the edges of the filo dough and cover with the remaining filo, tucking the edges down the sides of the tin. Brush each sheet – and the top one – generously with oil or melted butter. Cut the pie into squares or diamonds with a sharp knife, but do not cut through to the bottom or the filling will leak into the pan.

Bake about 1 hour or until the pie is crisp, golden and puffed up. Cut the squares or diamonds right through to the bottom and serve hot.

Yield: 8 servings

Recipe from Mediterranean Cookery, from Athenian cookery writer June Marinos

Notes: For the options we used parsley, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. We halved the recipe and baked for about 30 minutes.

This recipe was not very hard to make, as we prepped everything ahead of time. Prepping has become the standard here since it makes any recipe go much smoother! The hardest part was brushing the filo dough. Filo dough is very thin and delicate and sometimes when I would brush with my silicone brush it would tear the dough a bit. I tried to brush lightly but still get enough olive oil on the dough to make it cook properly. I think it either needed butter or more olive oil as some of the spots didn’t seem quite correct after it was done.

Katie:  Overall, we liked this dish. It is really beautiful and would make a good dish for company. However, we thought something was missing. After playing around with it for awhile, we decided that a little salt and extra Parmesan made it taste better. I was surprised it didn’t call for any salt, but decided to follow the recipe since salt can be added later, but cannot be taken away. The amount of Parmesan was so tiny that I think you couldn’t really taste it and the extra I added on top gave it a bit more pizazz.

Gray:  I agree with what Katie said.  It was a good dish, but it was missing a little something.  I think a little salt or the dill would give it a little more kick.  Overall it is very elegant dish and something that would go nicely on a buffet or dinner party, as you can cut the pieces to whatever size is appropriate.

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One Response to Spanakopitta (Spinach & Cheese Pie)

  1. Nicole says:

    Ooh, I’ll bet that recipe is delish!! 🙂

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