Greek spinach and feta cheese pie
This recipe is from a greek cookbook, with my modifications and the addition
of my mother's secret ingredient!leeks.
"fillo" or "fyllo" is the greek word for "leaf".
Ingredients(about 20 pieces)
- 1 lb fillo dough
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 lb spinach
(5 packages, if you use frozen spinach)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion,
- 3 leeks,
washed and chopped.
- 1 lb feta cheese
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp salt
If you are using fresh spinach, wash it, dip it for a minute or two in boiling
water to blanch it, and then chop it. Drain the spinach and squeeze most of
the water out of it.
Wash thoroughly and chop the white part of the leeks. Peel and chop the
onion. Saut\o'ea' the chopped leeks and onion in the butter.
Add the spinach, salt and pepper. Mix everything together and simmer
for 20 minutes.
While the spinach is cooking, grate the feta cheese (I use a food processor).
Alternatively, you can crumble it into small chunks.
Remove the spinach from heat and add the cheese, eggs (beaten), breadcrumbs
and milk. Mix everything together and set aside.
Grease a square baking pan with a little olive oil. Take one sheet of dough
and place it on the bottom of the pan towards one of the corners, in such a
way that the dough sticks out a little from two of the sides of the pan.
Brush the sheet with olive oil. Repeat this step until you have used
about two thirds of the dough, alternating corners and always brushing
each sheet of dough with olive oil.
Pour the spinach mixture into the pan. Level it, and fold in the sides of the
assembled crust. Brush the dough with olive oil.
Take one sheet of dough and place it on top of the pie, this time without
any bias towards any of the corners. Brush the sheet with olive oil. Repeat
this step until you have used all the remaining dough, always brushing each
sheet with olive oil.
Gently tuck the edges of the top sheets of dough under the sides of the pie.
Brush the top with olive oil. Using a sharp knife cut the top of the pie
as if you were cutting it to serve it, but don't go all the way to the bottom.
Sprinkle the pie with
of water and bake it at
for 45 minutes.
Let the pie cool, and serve.
I find that frozen spinach works wonderfully for this recipe. Also,
it's cheaper and somewhat easier to prepare.
Unless you work quickly when assembling the dough layers, the unused pieces
of dough will dry out. Until you become nimble with this process, you can
cover the unused dough pieces with a damp dishcloth to prevent them from
drying out while you fumble with the construction of the pie.
The pie keeps well out of the refrigerator for a few days and can
(indeed, some claim must) be eaten at room temperature.
Because of the way the pie is constructed, pieces cut from the corners
and sides of the pan are particularly crunchy, and a lot of people
consider them the best part of the pie. This suits me just fine, because
I like the middle pieces which have more filling!
The original recipe called for twice the amount of olive oil, but I find
that I don't need that much.
1 hour preparation, 45 minutes baking.
approximate measurement OK.
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Recipe last modified: 3 Dec 87
From: kyrimis@Princeton.EDU (Kriton Kyrimis)
Subject: RECIPE: Spanakopita
Date: 15 Jul 88 05:31:53 GMT
Organization: Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
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