Spanakotyropita

Jenny, who is Panos mom (and Panos is Arkensen’s best friend) had agreed to show me how to make a Greek dish a few months ago. Jenny was very busy and only until now she has the time to show me. Jenny is a Canadian and her husband is Greek. Jenny lived in Greece during her early marriage and she learned to make Greek dishes during her stay there.

The dish which Jenny showed me is called Spanakotyropita, The word Spanakotyropita comes from the Greek word spanaki (spinach); tiri (cheese); and pita which is a hand held snack.

Spanakotiropita022_edited-1

Other pitas which you may be familiar with are the round cooked dough type typically filled with cooked meat, onions, tomatoes and a dab of tzatziki and are often served at Greek festivals or tavernas.

Ingredients

  • two packages frozen chopped spinach
  • one package phyllo pastry (in the Grocer’s freezer section next to frozen pie/pastry shells)
  • approximately 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil or vegetable oil
  • one large cooking onion or 1 leek, rough chopped and sauteed or 1 bunch of fresh green onions which can be added directly to the spinach.
  • 1 teaspoon bouillon (powder form, not cubes)
  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1 large sprig of fresh dill or approximately 1 tablespoon of dry dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt and ground pepper (or according to taste)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan chesse
  • 1 package (1/2 lb) Greek style feta cheese
  • 3 or 4 large eggs

Spanakotiropita008_edited-1Spanakotiropita009_edited-1

Click on the link below for the instructions.


Instructions

The night before preparing this dish, remove your phyllo pastry and two packages of frozen chopped spinach from the freezer and defrost them in the refrigerator for use the next day. Place the frozen spinach in a container so they do not leak in your refrigerator as they defrost.

Prepare the spinach as per instructions on the packages. Make sure you drain the spinach thoroughly prior to mixing them into the filling as excess moisture is pita’s worst enemy!.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Spanakotiropita002_edited-1First saute the onion or leeks in 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with chicken bouillon and lemon juice. If you are using fresh green onions, then skip the sauteing.
Spanakotiropita006_edited-1Add in the dills and the drained spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Do not use too much salt as the cheese is salty. You may add in extra fresh greens like spinach, endive, escarole if you like.
Spanakotiropita011_edited-1Remove the sauteed greens from heat and add in the grated parmesan cheese and crumble in the feta cheese. You may taste it at this point to check if it needs more seasoning. Add in the eggs to bind the filings together. Set aside to cool.
Spanakotiropita013_edited-1Keep the rest of the phyllo pastry covered with a tea towel to keep them from drying out. Work with one piece at a time. Brush the phyllo dough with olive oil. You need two layers of phyllo dough. Cut the two layers of phyllo into 4 equal long strips, holding down the phyllo with your two fingers. Do not fuss with the exact measurement or any tear.
Spanakotiropita015_edited-1Put a tablespoon of the filings on the end of the strip of phyllo near you.
Spanakotiropita016_edited-1Fold the phyllo over the filings, away from you and pat down lightly.
Spanakotiropita017_edited-1Bring the bottom right corner up to the left corner to make a triangle and continue folding to complete a little triangle packet.
Spanakotiropita018_edited-1Repeat with the rest of the phyllo dough until the fillings are used up. Lay the triangles on a baking pan.
Spanakotiropita020_edited-1Brush the top of the phyllo triangles with oil before baking in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Make sure the pastries are DARK golden brown before you remove them from the oven as they will lighten as they cool on a rack. This recipe makes approximately 32 individual pastries.

Do not store the Spanakotyropita in a sealed container as they will become soft and soggy. If you need to bring them for a potluck party or social gathering, pack them in a non-sealed container after they have cooled down or just covered the container lightly with a paper towel.

Jenny, thank you so much for sharing the recipe with me. We (including Arkensen and Nanzaro) love it and I will make it for Ben when he returns home.

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  1. Do you know that I have gained approximately 8 pounds since reading your blog? I look at the yummy photos, become very very hungry, eat twice as much as I normally would! I will only read your blog before bedtime or early in the mornings!

  2. Hi Maritza: Ever since we started blogging, we have been trying not to put on more weight. We actually eat more than we used to before we started blogging! Ben gained 2 kg in that 1 week he was in London.
    Suanne

  3. I used your recipe for a dinner party and it was a hit. Thank you so much for posting it online. The recipe is so good it really does remind me of the ones that I had in Greece. Thanks again. Yvonne from California

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