Spinach Pie a year later–“Spanakopita”

Posted on March 2, 2013

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A quote from the current family movie obsession—when Ezma is about to kill Kronk–
“I never liked your spinach puffs. Never.”

About a year ago, when I blessedly found myself with more free time and mental space, I made spanakopita. This time around I somewhat accidentally found myself looking at a box of phyllo dough, reading the back of the box, and swerving off my original course (baked brie) to use up leftovers in the fridge and make this dish. I amazingly had all the ingredients–cottage cheese? When do we ever have that around? so it seemed fortuitous. But the real reason this worked out was a 2 hr nap today (I napped as well the first 45) which allowed me to focus for a minute on the phyllo buttering process without pulling my hair out…:) My helper woke up just in time for the final layer, and let me tell you, that was a mess. And buttery hands means no pics…

Spinach Pie
14 sheets phyllo dough (Thaw according to instructions on box, and be sure to keep sheets moist while you work by draping a wet cloth over them)
10 oz frozen chopped spinach
12 oz cottage cheese
8 oz cream cheese
4 oz crumbled feta
1/2 tsp dried dill weed (I honestly used an italian season since I didn’t have dill–worked out great)
1 medium onion–chopped finely
red or yellow peppers (Small)–chopped finely
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Chop onions and peppers, saute in olive oil until tender and golden.
Drain spinach, squeeze, pat etc until dry.
Mix onions, spinach, cheeses, spices and egg in a bowl.
Melt and clarify the butter.
Then using 7 phyllo sheets build a stack in bottom of the baking pan, fold, brush, fold over the other half, brush that, repeat x7. Then spread cheese mixture evenly over the phyllo, and then repeat phyllo process using the remaining 7 sheets. Be careful about your butter usage–I was zealous in the beginning and ended up needing to use 1.5 sticks of butter (yikes) but also found that the bottom layers were a bit too soggy buttery when cooked–is that possible you ask? Yes it is.

Thoroughly butter the top layer, especially the edges. Bake for 40-45 min or until golden brown in a 375 oven. Let stand 10 min for easier serving (or, go on a run first to justify the calories…like we did!)

I do like the idea of adding either nutmeg and/or parsley, as other recipes (thanks google) mention. But regardless, enjoy your traditional Greek snack food! And pair it with the main dish I’ll be posting tomorrow. I did get the approval on this dish from both the husband (oh yes, it’s harder than you might think), as well as someone who grew up eating it because of his heritage…ie, his mom made it all the time…so that made me confident in this recipe. Enjoy!

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