Avivit Priel's Spanakopita - Phyllo pastry filled with spinach and feta. Photography: Dan Lev. Styling: Dalit Russo.
Avivit Priel's Spanakopita - Phyllo pastry filled with spinach and feta. Photography: Dan Lev. Styling: Dalit Russo.
Recipe

Spanakopita

To give the pastry a more festive look, cut it into squares before baking, similar to baklava

Any time you see a dish ending in “pita” in Greek, it’s a tip that it is a stuffed pastry, usually made with phyllo dough. Spanakopita is one such dish and perhaps the most well-known, stuffed with spinach, or spinaky in Greek. The fillings are usually some kind of vegetable and cheese mixture. To give the pastry a more festive look, Avivit cuts it into squares before baking, similar to baklava. It also makes serving easier.

Ingredients for Spanakopita

  • 10 phyllo dough sheets defrosted overnight in the fridge
  • 1/2 cup olive oil for frying and brushing

For the filling:

  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1/2 cup scallions chopped
  • 2.2 lbs (1 kilogram) spinach coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup dill chopped
  • grated lemon peel from one lemon
  • a pinch ground nutmeg
  • Salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 8.8 oz (250 grams) feta cheese crumbled
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

Prepare the filling:

  • 1. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide pan and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes until it is translucent. Add the garlic and scallion and cook for one minute until fragrant. Add spinach, parsley and dill and cook for 2-3 minutes until the spinach wilts. Remove from the heat and season with lemon peel, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix and transfer to a sieve and drain until the liquids stop dripping.

  • 2. Transfer the spinach mixture to a bowl, add feta and eggs and mix.

Assemble and bake:

  • 3. Heat the oven to 355F (180C) degrees and brush and oven dish with olive oil.

  • 4. Place a sheet of phyllo in the dish so that its edges hang over the sides. Brush with oil. Layer 4 more sheets in the same way and grease between the sheets. In an even layer, spread the filling over the dough and cover with another phyllo sheet. Brush with oil and layer the remaining 4 leaves (greasing between).

  • 5. Fold in the lower and upper phyllo sheets. Score the top layer of leaves into squares with a sharp knife.

  • 6. Bake for 40 minutes until the top is very golden. Eat warm or cold. If prepared in advance, keep in the refrigerator for up to two days and reheat in a hot oven.

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