Spanakopita

15 Jul

Spanakopita

Food dislikes are often arbitrary. Like many children, I held both spinach and feta cheese in low regard. But folded into a crackling jacket of phyllo pastry as spanakopita? I was all over those puppies.

There are several ways to construct spanakopita, and I’ve tried most of them. Rectangles and triangles of all sizes. Long strudel-like pastries that are sliced after baking. Even a version where the phyllo and filling are layered and baked in a casserole, like a lasagne.

My favourite is definitely the small triangular ones. Sometimes called “mini-spanakopita”., they are a bit fiddlier to make.

But they provide the optimum filling-pastry balance. And for the additional effort, you are rewarded with a versatile little parcel that you can serve as a canapé, pop into a packed lunch, or eat as an afternoon snack.

Spanakopita
(makes about 24)

  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 kg fresh spinach
  • 200g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • a small bunch of fresh dill, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 16 sheets phyllo pastry
  • 100g butter, melted
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium flame. Add the onion and sauté until softened.
  2. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Increase the heat for a few minutes to cook off any excess liquid – the mixture should be quite dry.
  3. Remove from the heat. Add the feta cheese, egg and dill and stir to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  5. Place a sheet of phyllo on your working surface, and spread with melted butter (using a pastry brush or the palm of your hand). Top with a second sheet of phyllo.
  6. Cut the double sheet of pastry lengthwise into thirds.
  7. Spread a generous square of filling at the bottom of one of the pastry strips.
  8. Fold one corner up and across the filling, so it is covered. Now fold the lowest corner up to square the bottom. Continue folding in this manner, until you have a neat triangle. Trim any overhanging pastry.
  9. Repeat the steps above with the remaining phyllo pastry.
  10. Arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Brush with melted butter and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Spanakopita

6 Responses to “Spanakopita”

  1. Adam Garfunkel July 15, 2017 at 8:30 am #

    Nice diagram

  2. creativeshare July 15, 2017 at 11:26 am #

    I think this recipe merits my attempt to spell “SCRUMPTIOUS”… They look awesome!

    • Andrea July 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

      Thanks for that — much appreciated!

  3. Margo July 15, 2017 at 3:37 pm #

    One of my faves and an entertaining favorite. I, too, long ago decided that only fresh spinach will do. The frozen stuff doesn’t offer the same delicate taste.

    • Andrea July 15, 2017 at 3:44 pm #

      I’ve done it both ways recently — the texture is better with fresh spinach as well

  4. chefkreso July 15, 2017 at 9:19 pm #

    Looks so yummy, lovely idea for a quick work lunch!

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