Spanikopita

I’m back!!!

I don’t really have an excuse this time for taking a hiatus from blogging (other than laziness), but I have certainly missed it. The start of 2010 has been a bit of a bumpy ride and I am now ready to start climbing that ladder of greatness again. I’ve come to understand that life isn’t easy and each new challenge just makes you stronger.

One of my best friends in the world, Maija, came over yesterday for dinner. Maija and I always make all sorts of promises to hangout often and keep in touch. Unfortunately, we don’t always follow through with our plans, but when we do, it’s a guaranteed good time. In our defence, I think that we are getting better and better at it!

Last night I decided to make another one of my all-time favourites for one of my all-time favourite people: Spanikopita (also known as spinach pie).

Spanikopita is another recipe that I learned from my mom when I was quite young. My mom always used the famous Spanikopita recipe from the Moosewood cookbook, a cookbook (and now restaurant) that is based on healthful, natural foods cuisine. Check out http://www.moosewoodrestaurant.com/index.html for more info. Since then, I think that we have both memorized the process of making the dish and enjoy spicing it up with different ingredients.

This time around, I decided to make individual mini spinach pies and was pretty pleased with the result. I definitely recommend this one if you are a spinach and feta fan. It’s actually super simple, but does take a little bit of time for assembly.

Spanikopita  

  • 1 box Phyllo Pastry (found in the freezer section at the grocery store), thawed
  • 2 packages frozen spinach, the chopped kind (you can also use fresh spinach and chop it, but I was feeling lazy) Be sure to thaw and drain any excess water from it
  • Greek Feta (I used half of a container that was the size of a sour cream container)
  • Half a container of cottage cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried sage
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly oil mini loaf tins (or a large casserole dish to make one big pie, instead of individual ones).

In a large frying pan, heat the oil and sauté the onions and garlic until softened a bit (2-5 minutes). Add all the spices (oregano, sage, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper) to the onion and garlic mixture. Be careful not to add too much salt because the feta is pretty salty naturally.

Add the defrosted spinach (I like to pat it dry with a paper towel), and sauté for about a minute until the onions and garlic are incorporated into the spinach. Add the flour and cook and stir for about 2 minutes until the flour dissolves. Add the feta and cottage cheese and turn the heat off the pan. If the mixture is looking too dry, feel free to add a few tablespoons of water or chicken stock. You want it to look thick and moist.

Now you just have to layer the phyllo, one sheet at a time in the mini loaf pans, or casserole. Brush each phyllo sheet with butter before placing the next sheet on top. After you have about 10-15 layers, add the spinach mixture.

Continue to layer and butter the remaining phyllo on top of the spinach mixture about 5-10 more times. At the end, fold in any edges that were overlapping the pan. Make sure you brush the last layer with butter and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and delicious.  

I served mine with a simple tomato, basil and mozzarella salad.

Congrats Canada for dominated women’s double bobsleigh and men’s hockey tonight!!!!!!!

Thanks for coming over Maija! xx

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