Spanakopita (Greek Spinach and Feta Pie)
Makes 9 Thick Pieces
Recipe is for an 8 X 8 Baking Dish
1 Pound of Frozen Spinach, Thawed and Squeezed Dry
2 Cups Crumbled Feta Cheese
1/2 Cup Ricotta
1 Cup Finely Diced White Onion (1 Medium Onion)
1 Cup Chopped Green Onion
1 Cup Finely Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Dill
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Melted Butter + 1/2 Lb. Melted Butter
3 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
18 Sheets of Phyllo Dough
1 1/2 Tsp Salt + 1 Tbsp Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 375˚F.
Squeeze the liquid out of the spinach with a kitchen towel over the sink. Put Spinach into a large mixing bowl
Lightly sautee white onion over medium heat in olive oil until translucent. About 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let this come to room temperature. Add the cooled onion to the spinach. Next add Feta, Ricotta, Green Onion, Dill, Parlsey, Eggs, Salt and Pepper and 2 Tbsp of butter to the mix. Thoroughly combine all the ingredients together.
Place 18 sheets of phyllo flat on a counter and top with a damp cloth so to not dry out.
With a pastry brush coat baking dish with melted butter. Trim your phyllo sheets so that they are the same width as the baking dish. Starting with 1 piece of phyllo dough place it into the dish and using your fingers press it into the nooks and crannies. Dough will rise up the sides of the pan and hang over the edges. This is OK! Brush dough with butter. Repeat this process 7 more times. Taking care to alternate your layers so that a crust is formed on all 4 sides of the dish. Spread spinach mixture into the phyllo shell and smooth it out with a spatula. Remove the hanging pieces of phyllo with a knife. Follow the sides of your dish as a guide for where to trim.
Finish the pie by layering 1 sheet of phyllo at time and coating each one with butter. The butter acts as glue and keeps the layers of pastry nice and tight. Again remove the excess phyllo with a knife.
Using your knife cut into the uncooked dough and score 9 square pieces. Cutting into the phyllo before baking makes it MUCH easier to cut into the finished product. Without scoring, the cooked phyllo will crumble when you try to cut into later.
Bake Spinach Pie in the middle of the oven for 40 – 50 minutes. The phyllo layers will be a beautiful golden brown and will have puffed up.
Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 30 – 40 minutes before serving.