I learned this recipe from my good friend Susan. She taught me how to cook a variety of authentic Greek dishes and I taught her how to cook some typical Asian food. Susan and I would spend hours in the kitchen, experimenting and trying to come up with “healthier” versions of typical dishes from different cultures. I owe a great deal of what I know about cooking today to Susan and her family.
This is the quick version of the traditional Greek “spanakopita triangles”.
To prepare the pie, first crumble the feta cheese and mix it with cooked spinach and fresh herbs. The entire mix is then wrapped in layers of phyllo. Phyllo is a kind of very thin unleavened dough used for making pastries in Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. You could certainly make your own phyllo, but I normally use the ready made version found in the frozen section of any grocery stores.
Just make sure to let the pie cool down for a few minutes before you slice it.
TIP: This is a perfect dish for a busy family. You could make it ahead of time and freeze it. Just thaw it and bake to make a quick meal. It is best served with Greek salad.
- 4 lbs. chopped spinach or frozen spinach - thawed well
- ½ cup olive oil or melted butter
- 6 cloves of pressed garlic
- 4 diced shallots
- 2 bunches of diced green onions
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- 1 cup chopped dill or 5 tbsp. dried
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese
- 8 lightly beaten eggs
- ½ cup of ricotta or cottage cheese (optional), or just add more feta
- ½ cup olive oil for phyllo sheets
- 1 lb. phyllo pastry sheets
- Wash, drain and chop the spinach. If you're using frozen spinach, make sure to thaw completely and squeeze out the excess water, it should be dry.
- Heat the olive oil in pan. Sauté the garlic until golden, add the onions and green onions. Add the spinach, parsley and dill and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the spinach is wilted and water is absorbed.
- Add the nutmeg, season with salt and pepper.
- Removed from heat and set aside to cool.
- In a working bowl, combine the feta, eggs, and ricotta or cottage cheese and then add the cool spinach. Mix all together until combined.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly grease a baking pan 9x12 inches. I normally use my cast cooking pan.
- Layer 10 phyllo sheets, make sure to brush every sheet with olive oil or butter. Add the spinach mixture.
- Layer the rest of the phyllo sheets, again make sure to brush every sheet especially the top layer. Score the top layer of phyllo before baking.
- Bake in a preheated to 350 F oven for 40 minutes or until the phyllo turns to a deep golden brown.
- Before serving, let the pie cool down for a few minutes.