Do you have a savory food weakness? Mine is Spanakopita, a delicious traditional Greek dish made Fillo Dough, filled with spinach, leeks, dill, parsley, and crumbled Feta cheese. My mom used to make it with leftover lamb, wrapping the filling into delicate – and time consuming! – fillo triangles.
As much as I love it, I always thought it was a pain in the butt to prepare considering how quickly I can stuff them into my mouth. I know, it's a gruesome mental image. Sorry. Until my genius pal Krista brought over a huge tray of Spanakopita made into a tidy casserole. Boom! Spanakopita that is as easy to make as lasagne!
Chef Demetrios Haralambatos, the executive chef at Kontos Foods (www.kontos.com), a Paterson, N.J. provider of traditional Mediterranean foods, recommends this recipe:
- 2 pounds spinach, steamed, squeezed, chopped, and drained (or frozen spinach; fully thawed)
- 1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup dill, chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- One leek, chopped or 1/4 cup green onion (scallion) chopped
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup olive oil for brushing pastry
- 12 sheets Fillo dough (#5)
- Mix together the spinach, Feta, dill, parsley, leeks, eggs, salt and pepper.
- Brush the bottom of an 8x8 inch baking pan with olive oil.
- Place a sheet of Fillo dough in the pan, brush lightly with olive oil. Use kitchen scissors to trim the Fillo to fit. Repeat until you have 6 layers, lightly brushing each layer with Olive Oil.
- Place the spinach and greens mixture on top of the 6 layers of Fillo dough, in an even layer. Flatten with a spatula.
- To create a “top” for your spinach pie, layer another six pieces of Fillo dough on top of the spinach mixture, brushing each layer with olive oil as you go.
- Bake for 30-50 minutes at 350⁰ F, until golden brown.
You can add leftover minced lamb, gyro meat or Italian sausage to this recipe but it makes an excellent vegetarian dish if you omit the critter protein.
To learn more about the easier-to-use-than-one-might-assume Kontos Fillo dough (also known as Phyllo or Filo dough), visit www.kontos.com. You can also find Kontos Foods on Twitter@KontosFoods or on Facebook at www.facebook/KontosFoods.
In addition to fillo dough and pastries, Kontos specializes in Mediterranean delicacies like hand-stretched flatbreads, olives, gyro meats, and Greek yogurts, as well as nearly 50 varieties of multi-ethnic flatbreads. I love their Pocket-Less Pita and Cocktail Flatbreads for entertaining.