One of my favorite meals is Spanakopita with Tomato, Cucumber and Feta Salad. Both dishes are based on time tested recipes brought to this country from Agrinion, Greece courtesy of my best friend’s Grandmother. My version of this traditional spinach pie gets a boost from the oregano, thyme, garlic and red pepper notes in my favorite Sicilian Seasoning.
1 pound fresh spinach, cleaned and coarsely chopped
3 scallions, finely sliced
1 medium leek (pale green and white portion), cleaned and finely sliced
4 ounces softened cream cheese
4 ounces feta cheese, finely crumbled
2 tablespoons Victoria Taylor’s Sicilian Seasoning
1/3 cup olive oil
Filo Dough (part of one box)
Preheat the oven to 425°.
Remove the Filo from the freezer and ignore the directions on the box. Remove the filo from the box, discard the plastic covering and cover the filo with a clean, dry cloth. Now clean and prepare the spinach, patting it dry with a paper towel. Combine the uncooked spinach, scallions, leek, cheeses, eggs, Sicilian Seasoning, and 3 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a bowl. Select a 9x12 inch baking pan and lightly brush the bottom with olive oil.
The (dreaded) Filo:
Lay it out flat and cut 5 pieces of the filo (one or 2 at a time) to fit the pan. One whole sheet of filo from the package is usually enough to make 2 layers in a 9x12 inch pan. Place the sheets in the pan and pat gently. Ignore any minor tears in the filo and throw away any uncooperative sheets. You have plenty. Spread half of the spinach mixture on the filo and top with a single sheet of filo. Spread the remaining half of the spinach mixture in the pan and top with 5 more layers of filo.
Brush the top of the pie lightly with olive oil. Bake for 45 minutes. It will be lightly browned on top.
Allow spanakopita to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Gently cut into squares or triangles using a perforated knife.