Spinach pie, or Spanakopita, is, as you know, a deliciously Greek recipe. The combination of cheeses and herbs provides a pleasing flavor while the crispy texture of the baked phyllo dough gives it that yummy ‘crunch’.
- ½ lb. Phyllo Dough (fillo dough) – thawed in the refrigerator (Note: the number of sheets you use will vary based on the brand you buy. You will use about 16 sheets altogether.)
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter (melted)
- 3 scallions (green onions) (green and white parts, sliced)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- ¼ cup fresh dill (chopped – or – 2 tsp. dried dill)
- 2 Tbsp. fresh Greek oregano (chopped – 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano can be substituted if fresh Greek oregano is unavailable)
- 2 10-oz. pkgs. frozen chopped spinach (thawed, and completely drained of excess liquid )
- 1-2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (drained)
- 8 oz. good quality feta cheese (crumbled)
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- black pepper (to taste)
- Following package directions, thaw phyllo dough. You will only be using 1/2 the package for this recipe – about 16 sheets depending on the brand used.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and melted butter. Heat 2-3 Tbsp. of the oil-butter mixture in a large sauté pan. Add scallions, onions and dill. Cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft and almost transparent. Add thawed, drained spinach and cook about 3 minutes. Mix in garlic and cook for an additional minute. Remove pan from heat and drain off any excess liquid; set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, lemon juice, ricotta, feta, Parmesan cheeses, and black pepper. Fold into spinach mixture. (Note: Adding salt is not necessary as the Feta cheese is rather salty.)
- Unroll and cover phyllo sheets with plastic wrap, then a slightly dampened towel to prevent sheets from drying out.
- Grease the bottom and sides of a 9”x13” baking pan. Using one sheet of dough at a time, lay it in the pan and lightly brush with oil-butter mixture. Continue covering each sheet with another until you have used half the amount of phyllo sheets. Remember to keep remaining dough covered.
- Spread all of the spinach-cheese mixture evenly over the bottom stack of phyllo sheets.
- Follow the same procedure of layering and brushing the oil-butter mixture on each of the remaining sheets of dough. Be sure the spinach-cheese mixture is completely covered with phyllo and that any overhanging phyllo is tucked-in around the edge of the baking pan. Generously brush the top layer with oil-butter mixture.
- With a sharp knife, cut the spinach pie into 8 or 12 squares.
- Bake for 45- 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let sit for 10 – 15 minutes before serving.
- Serve with a tossed salad and a dollop of plain yogurt, if desired