(Greek spinach and feta pie)
6 to 8 servings
- Olive oil -- 3 tablespoons
- Scallions, chopped -- 1 bunch
- Spinach, cleaned and destemmed -- 2 pounds
- Fresh dill, chopped -- 1/2 bunch
- Italian parsley, chopped -- 1/2 bunch
- Feta cheese, crumbled -- 1/2 pound
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Eggs, beaten -- 1 to 2
- Filo dough -- 12 to 14 sheets
- Melted butter or olive oil -- 1/2 cup
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat the butter or oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the spinach in batches, stirring each addition to wilt. Finally stir in the dill and parsley. Remove to a colander or strainer and allow to cool somewhat.
- When the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out any excess liquid. Remove the spinach to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
- Mix together the spinach, feta, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Adjust seasoning to taste and stir in the eggs.
- Grease a 9-inch square baking dish or a deep-dish pie tin. Lay a layer of filo over the dish and brush with butter or oil. Add 5 or six more sheets of filo, each at a different angle to cover the entire bottom of the dish, brushing each layer with butter or oil before adding the next. Press the filo carefully down into all corners of the dish.
- Add the spinach-cheese filling to the dish and spread out evenly.
- Using the remaining filo, repeat the process of adding layers to form a top to the dish. Trim the edges of filo to leave about 1 1/2 inches hanging over the edge of the dish. Roll the edges together toward the center of the dish to seal the spanikopita.
- Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake until the crust is nicely browned, anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for about 15 minutes before serving.
- Use two 10-ounce packages of frozen spinach in place of the fresh if you like. Simply thaw, squeeze out extra moisture and mix with the other ingredients. No need to saute it.
- A little chopped mint can be added with the other herbs. Some cooks add a pinch of nutmeg.
- Use a mixture of feta and grated kefalotiri, Parmesan or Swiss cheese. Or mix in some ricotta.
- The eggs can be eliminated if you like.