There’s something special about spanakopita. It’s a perfect combination of bold flavors mixed with a perceived delicacy from a beautifully flaky crust. We wanted to try out this great Greek dish, but so many of our attempts came out flat and soggy, and the feta absolutely overpowered the dish.
To fix these problems and perfect the dish, we used fresh spinach and cooked it before draining it of excess water. This helped out the sogginess issue with the surprising bonus of boosting the flavor of the spinach. To mellow the flavor of the feta without completely dulling it, we mixed in some Greek yogurt. Because phyllo dough is so tricky to make (and we didn’t want to over-complicate the recipe) we opted to use store-bought phyllo, thawed overnight in the refrigerator. Let us know what you think and save us a piece!
Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)
(makes 6-8 servings)
- 20 ounces curly leaf spinach, rinsed
- 1/4 cup water
- 12 ounces feta, crumbled into fine pieces
- 3/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 4 medium scallions,thinly sliced
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 pound phyllo, thawed over night in the refrigerator
- 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
- Place the spinach and water in a large microwave-save bowl. Cover the bowl with a large dinner plate. Microwave on high until the spinach is wilted and decreased in volume by half (about 5 minutes). Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and keep covered for 1 minute.
- Remove the plate and transfer the spinach to a colander in the sink. Using the back of a rubber spatula, press the spinach against the colander to release the excess liquid. Transfer the spinach to a cutting board and roughly chop. Wrap the spinach in paper towels and squeeze to remove excess water. Transfer the spinach to a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients up to and including the cayenne pepper to the bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Grease a pie or cake pan with melted butter. Lay one phyllo sheet on the buttered pan, pressing the dough into the corners and letting the edges hang over the edge of the pan. Repeat with 9 more phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter until you have a total of 10 layers of phyllo.
- Spread the spinach mixture evenly over the phyllo. Fold the edges of the bottom layer of phyllo over the filling. Add 6 more phyllo sheets to the top, brushing each with butter and sprinkling each with 2 tablespoons Pecorino cheese. Add 2 final phyllo sheets, brushing them with butter but not sprinkling with the Pecorino. Trim the edges, then use a spoon to neaten the edges of the pastry case.
- Use a sharp knife to score the pie through the top 3 layers of phyllo into 8 even pieces of pie. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the phyllo is golden and crisp. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted fromManu’s Menu