Spanakopita. Spinach, feta, dill……all that yummy goodness in a little package. Generally, I like to make spanakopita in a big pan with removable sides, but for parties, individual spanakopitas are more convenient and prettier. Spinach pie is one of those things that you can make ahead and just reheat in the oven to crisp it up. I’ve even frozen, thawed and reheated them in the oven and they’re still really good. The process is a little involved, but well worth it. Phyllo pastry can be a little daunting at first, but it really is no big deal if it rips a little when you’re working with it. A little butter and a pastry brush will fix any tears, and they won’t be noticable after baking. It’s important to keep the pastry between a slightly damp tea towel to prevent it from drying out while working with it. These can easily be made gluten free as well….just substitute the phyllo pastry for rice paper sheets found at the Asian grocer (make sure the only ingredients listed are rice flour and water).
2 pounds (800 grams) frozen spinach
1 large onion, chopped
1 lemon, juice of
2 tablespoons dill
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1/4 cup butter or margarine
8 ounces (200 grams) feta cheese
1 package phyllo pastry, cut lengthwise in half (for gluten free spanakopita rolls, use rice paper wraps found in your Asian grocery…make sure the only ingredients listed are rice flour and water)
1/4 cup softened, nearly melted butter, for brushing pastry
Heat oven to 375°F (190C).
Squeeze spinach completely dry.
Sautee onions and garlic in 1/4 cup butter until tender, then add spinach, salt and pepper to taste.
Sautee 1-2 more minutes.
In a large bowl, combine spinach mixture, eggs, dill, lemon juice and crumbled feta.
Season with salt and pepper.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place phyllo between a damp (but not wet) tea towel.
Brush one sheet with butter, then repeat with a second sheet.
Place about 1-2 tablespoons of spinach mixture at one corner, and begin folding up (as you would a flag).
Seal edge and brush top with butter.
Repeat with remaining pastry.
Bake in preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes…just until golden.
This recipe makes enough for about 20 packets.