Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Meatless Monday - Spanakopitas

I love Greek food and this has been a recipe made over and over again at my house. Who can resist savory cheese and spinach wrapped in a fluffy flaky pastry!? Not sure exactly where the recipe came from, but here it is along with step-by-step photos to help you with the assembling.

This recipe is a smidge more time consuming than most of my Meatless Monday recipes, but can easily be assembled in 30 minutes (another 30-40 for cooking) once you get a rhythm going. It can also be made ahead or frozen. Not sure exactly how many it serves, but I usually cut the recipe in half and still have enough for two dinners and a few lunches leftover. In other words...A bunch! Serve it up with a simple mixed baby green salad or cut your pastry even smaller and serve as appetizers. Unfortunately, the night I made these I had to run off to a meeting so wasn't able to snap a photo of them fresh from the oven. But trust me, they come out a beautiful shade of gold!
1/4 c good olive oil

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, chopped

2-10oz pkgs frozen chopped spinach, defrosted

4 extra large eggs, beaten

3 tbl freshly grated parmesan

panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

2 tsp salt

1 tsp fresh black pepper

1 tsp ground nutmeg

16oz feta cheese crumbles

3 tbl toasted pine nuts

16 sheets frozen phyllo dough (about 8oz box)

1/4 pound unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)

sea salt and fresh black pepper for seasoning

Preheat oven to 375
Heat olive oil in medium saute pan, add onions and cook for 5 min over med-low heat. Add scallions, cook another 2 min until wilted, but still green. Meanwhile, gently squeeze most of the water out of the spinach and place it in large bowl. When onions and scallions are done, add them to bowl. Mix in eggs, parm, 3 tbl of panko, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Gently fold in feta and pine nuts.

Place one sheet of phyllo dough flat on work surface, placing long end in front of you. Brush dough lightly with butter, sprinkle with tsp of panko. Working quickly, slide another sheet of phyllo on top and repeat with butter and panko. Pile four layers total on top of each other like this and then cut in half lengthwise. Place 1/2-2/3 cup spinach filling on the end, and roll up diagonally. Fold over straight and then diagonally again, like a flag. Continue rolling until you get to the end. The filling should be totally enclosed. Continue assembling with the phyllo sheets and filling until all filling is gone.

Place on baking sheet seam side down. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, bake for 30-45 minutes until the phyllo is golden and crisp. Serve hot.

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