Dinner tonight is brought to you by the letter “S”… I suppose I could say the two letters “SP”. I made spanakopita and split seconds. Mmmm I spoil myself sometimes! I spoil my friends too, G is coming to Ottawa tonight so we are having a late dinner created around the letter S.
My love affair with spanakopita started many many years ago. My sister, Kala, used to make it for me. There was always a huge mess in the kitchen, olive oil all the way up our arms and all over the counters. We would eagerly await the first batch of perfectly golden crispy little triangles in the oven. As soon as they were out we would devour them as quickly as possible, our edacious hunger for them rarely lessened by the next batch. We would continue our routine of baking, eagerly waiting, followed by tongue burning satisfaction until every last triangle was gone. For those of you who know me, know that the tongue burning part was mostly on Kala’s end… since I have a teflon coated mouth and can withstand food directly from the oven. This has proven to come in very handy over the years since it means I can consume food quickly and can therefore consume more than my sister. Always sibling rivalry!! I like to think about it as I am more evolved, evolution is on my side! Years of evolution have led up to this moment to my being… being able to withstand the heat of the oven so that I can out eat my sister, become stronger and dominate!!!!!!!
I digress… spanakopita is wonderful in every way. It is delicious and fairly simple. In an attempt to make it easier on myself I made a pie opposed to the individual appetizer triangles I spoke of above. The pie is very simple and less work, I also think it contains much less fat than the individual ones since you don’t have to coat each sheet in olive oil. I choose to believe that spinach pie is healthy for me, sure it’s filled with feta and wrapped in phyllo with a splash of olive oil… but it’s spinach! It must be nourishing. It has to be.
2 packages frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 container feta (200g)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon oregano
1 bunch fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
Oil for cooking and for assembly
1 box phyllo pastry, thawed
Put 1 tablespoon oil in a hot pan, sauté onions, oregano and chili flakes for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add spinach and sauté for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Once cooled add eggs, feta, nutmeg and dill to spinach mixture and combine until complete mixed.
Grease a 9×9 or a 9×13 inch pan with olive oil. Lay down 3 sheets of phyllo, grease your hands with olive oil and carefully rub on top layer of dough. Add three more layers of phyllo and grease again. Pour spinach mixture into pan and spread evenly. Add three more layers on top, grease them, add three final layers, grease again.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden and crisp.
Note – Be careful to not let the phyllo dough dry out, keep it wrapped in a damp tea towel when you are not working with it. Also, I think that you could use PAM instead of olive oil for the layers?? It would be less messy, might not taste as good though.