Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Today's new recipe was Spanakopita or Spinach Pie. I love this Greek treat but have never gotten around to trying it myself. In Astoria we used to trip over spinach pie on our way to the subway. It was all over the place. You stop for coffee, here have some spinach pie. Oh, you want a pack of cigarettes? Would you like Spanakopita with that? Close to the time we left Astoria my brother got engaged to a Greek lady. Like really Greek. Like, uses the word YA YA and not be referring to your vagina Greek. Anyway, she soon became my source for Spanakopita. Her family recipe is so good I never wanted to try to do my own. But alas, this week is all about trying new things so I busted out the phyllo and went to work.
adapted from Tyler Florence
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped1/2 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts4 garlic cloves, minced2 pounds fresh baby spinach, trimmed, washed and roughly chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 ounces crumbled traditional feta
5 ounces crumbled reduced fat feta (yea, like this is going to make it healthy)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted
1 pound phyllo pastry sheets1/4 cup dried oregano1/4 cup finely chopped chives (from my own garden!)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and place over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic for 3 minutes until soft. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper, and continue to saute until the spinach is limp, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, remove from heat and place in a colander, and squeeze out excess liquid using a cheese cloth. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with feta, coriander, and nutmeg. Season, then fold in the cooled spinach mixture until well blended.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, brush 2 baking sheets with some melted butter. Unroll the phyllo dough and lay a sheet flat on a work surface. Keep the phyllo covered with a damp, not wet, towel as you work to prevent drying out and becoming brittle. Brush the sheet with melted butter, then sprinkle evenly with some oregano and chives. Repeat with 2 more sheets of phyllo, stacking on top of each other. With a pizza cutter, cut the sheets lengthwise into thirds to form strips. 
Place a heaping teaspoon of filling near 1 corner of the layered phyllo strip. Fold the end at an angle over the filling to form a triangle. Continue to fold the triangle along the strip until you reach the end, like folding up a flag. Brush the top with butter and dust with Parmesan, place on prepared baking sheet, and cover while preparing the remaining pastries. Repeat until all the filling and phyllo strips are used up. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes until the triangles are crisp and golden. Serve hot, warm or cold.

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