About the Recipe:
Most tavernas in Greece, and certainly every Greek-American restaurant in this country, offer some version of spinach pie, called spanakopita on their menu. Spanaki means spinach and pita meaning pie. Spanakopita triangles make wonderful passed hors d’oeuvres, or prepared in a baking pan is a delicious entrée
2 pounds fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup finely chopped flat leave parsley
¼ cup finely minced dill leaves, plus more as needed
½ teaspoon nutmeg (more or less to taste)
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ pound feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup cottage cheese
¼ cup cream cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup melted clarified butter, extra virgin olive oil, or a mix of the fats
½ pound phyllo pastry sheets
Wash and drain the spinach, leaving some water on the leaves. In a large sauté pan, add half of the spinach and sauté until spinach wilts, tossing with tongs, about 2 minutes.
Remove spinach and squeeze out excess liquid, then chop roughly. Repeat with remaining spinach.
Pour off any liquid from the pan, and add 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Add scallions and sauté over medium heat until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
Add the spinach, along with the parsley, dill, nutmeg, lemon juice (if using), and salt and pepper.
Cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, check the seasonings, making sure you can taste the dill, and remove from heat to cool. (Can be made ahead and refrigerated)
Mix the feta, cottage cheese and cream cheese together in a small bowl. Add the cheese mixture and as much beaten egg as needed to moisten the cooled spinach mixture.
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
Brush a baking sheet with some of the melted butter.
Unroll the phyllo dough on a flat surface and keep it covered with saran or waxed paper and a damp towel so it doesn't dry out and become brittle.
Using a sharp knife, cut the phyllo into 2 inch by 11 inch strips, and re-cover with the towel.
Use a pastry brush or a spritzer bottle to brush or spray a strip of phyllo with melted fat.
Place a teaspoon or so of spinach filling 1 inch from the end of the pastry.
Fold the end over the filling to form a triangle, then continue to fold up the strip in triangles, like folding up a flag.
Continue with remaining strips of dough, placing filled triangles on the baking sheet and keeping them covered with a towel until all are ready to bake.
Brush the triangles lightly with butter, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
Serve hot. (These may be frozen before baking, layering parchment or waxed paper between layers of triangles to keep them from sticking. Bake frozen triangles an extra 10 minutes.)
Variation: Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking pan, and spread 6 sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter, on the bottom. Spoon the spinach filling over the phyllo, then cover with 6 more sheets of phyllo, buttering each sheet. Score the top 3 sheets with a sharp knife. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until top is golden, let stand 15 minutes, then cut into squares and serve warm.
60 min prep,30 min bake
60 triangles or one 13x9 dish