Thursday, July 10, 2014

Spanakopita, Greek spinach pie

New camera :-) Thanks Els!

I have always been crazy about phyllo dough, which I first had as a sweet (I think it was a banana pie). I never got over it. It is visible on how often I make spanakopita.

Can you imagine someone baking spinach pie 3 times in a week?

That's me, when I like something I have to make it for days in a row until the juice runs out, and then I forget about it for a month or a year. It costs my husband's enthusiasm with certain dishes sometimes (buckwheat soup again???) but I can't help it, it takes over me. One thing I know it will stay in in my kitchen repertoire is buckwheat, but it will certainly be easy to tell each buckie recipe apart. When I make spinach pie it is always mostly the same.

Anyway, I made this a lot whn I was pregnant (my husband got enthousiast for longer than usual, because, well, it is spinach and crumbly feta wrapped around with a soft-in-the-middle-crunchy-in-the-top layer of phyllo dough. Loads of spinach. Tastes nely cheesy. It's a pie. What else could you ask?

Eggs. The eggs hold the spinach together so it doesn't jump in all directions when you bite. It's a clean pie, of the kind you can eat with your hand sitting on a park and not thinking very much about the fact that your pants are white. You can never forget that your pants are white, just admit it. Whatever you eat or drink will rmind you even more. Except for this pie, when you get used to it and trust it like your best friend.

I have no idea where I got this recipe from, I'm sure it was on the internet though; it was a year and a half ago so it's pretty hard to remember; whoever posted it, thanks!

I've added fenugreek and halved the amount of phyllo (I find it just as nice with three layes but the traditional recipe says six, see what you prefer).

I just ate half the pie. Be warned.

Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 3 onions
  • 750g (25 oz) spinach, blanched, or frozen and thawed
  • 225g (8 oz) feta cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 3 phyllo dough sheets, fresh or frozen and thawed
Cooking Directions
  1. Squeeze all the water you can from the spinach (and drink it, it's healthy). This is very important to avoid a soggy bottom; if it is your thing thn squeeze almost all the water, otherwise it becomes soupy.
  2. Fry the onions and the fenugreek until the onions are transparent, stirring constantly.
  3. Add nutmeg and spinach and keep stirring. Don't add salt, the feta will take care of that.
  4. Let it cool and meanwhile prepare the dough.
  5. Phyllo is very delicate, separate them carefully. Nobody is going to care about a couple of rips though (I ripped mine big time on this batch, it is still awesome).
  6. Melt the butter and brush it with a culinary brush into one of the phyllo sheets, or with your fingers, very gently. Make sure it is well spread.
  7. Put another layer of phyllo on top.
  8. Repeat.
  9. Transfer the three layers of phyllo to a round baking pan, open, with thcenter of the phyllo in the center of the pan with 22 cm (9 in) diameter (can be square too but round looks better; I've made both).
  10. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  11. Add the feta to the spinach, mashing everything with your hands (the next time you make it I'm sure this step will drive you crazy, thinking of what is about to come)
  12. When the mixture is cold, add the eggs, mixing it with everything (for that I use a fork).
  13. Add that to the center of the phyllo dough, spreading it evenly.
  14. Wrap the tips of the phyllo around the top of the filling. it doesn't need to cover everything.
  15. Bake it for 50 minutes (check at 45)
  16. Serve and enjoy!

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