Greek,  Middle Eastern,  Vegetable,  Vegetables

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

At the risk of sounding like a midnight infomercial, here is the best spanakopita you’ll ever eat. It’s oniony-sweet, cheesy, and the herbs melt into the spinach to deepen the flavor. I have yet to find a restaurant version that can beat this.

We usually see spanakopita as either an appetizer or a main dish. But with today’s “mezze mania,” you can bake up a batch, freeze it, then reheat a few triangles to go along with hummus, a few diamonds of kibbee, or whatnot to turn a meal into a party.

I like to bake from scratch, but draw the line at filo. Other than my friend Wendy, who once made it as a class assignment, nobody makes their own filo, just like nobody makes their own toothpicks. Some things are best left to machines.

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

  • 4 tablespoons butter for sautéing
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 scallions, sliced
  • 1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed, or about ½ bunch fresh dill, chopped
  • 3 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 pound whole-milk small-curd cottage cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 pound melted butter for brushing
  • 1 pound package of frozen filo dough sheets, thawed

Makes two 9×13 pans. Each pan serves about 4 as a main dish, and about 8 as a side dish, appetizer or mezze.

  1. Sauté the onions in butter for 3 minutes, then add scallions and continue to sauté until onions are soft, about 2 more minutes. Squeeze the water out of the spinach, then add spinach, parsley, dill, salt and pepper to the pan. Sauté for about a minute. Turn off heat and stir in crumbled feta and cottage cheese. Beat eggs until frothy and stir in.
  2. Butter two 9”x13” baking pans. To form the base layer, brush melted butter on about 10-12 sheets of filo per pan. If some sheets are torn or crinkled, it’s okay, just patch them together. Divide filling evenly between the pans, spreading over the base layer. Form the top layer by stacking 12-14 sheets of buttered filo over the filling in each pan. Score through the top filo layers, cutting the shape you wish to use for serving (can be rectangles, diamonds or whatever).
  3. Bake at 350º F for about 45 minutes.
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