Spanakopita, the classic Greek savory pie, is elegant and impressive, yet easy to make. Interestingly enough, the word “pita” in Greek and many other Middle Eastern languages means “pie”. The creative use of local greens, leeks, and goat milk cheeses folded into crisp phyllo shapes are everywhere in the region. Spanakopita is a perfect combination of fresh spinach and good feta cheese nestled between crispy phyllo dough.
Spanakopita – Greek Spinach and Feta Pie
- Large baking pan or casserole
- Large bowl
- Parchment paper
- 1½ lb Spinach, curly leaf or flat leaf
- ¼ cup Water
- 8 oz Feta cheese, crumbled
- ⅔ cup Whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
- 5 stalk Scallion, finely chopped
- 2 large Eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 medium Garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup Fresh mint, minced
- 2 tbsp Fresh dill, minced
- 1 tsp Lemon zest, grated
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- ½ tsp Black pepper
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp Cayenne pepper
- 6 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp Unsalted butter, melted and mixed with olive oil
- ½ lb Phyllo dough, defrosted overnight in refrigerator
- 2 oz Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (½ cup)
- Place rinsed spinach and water in a large, partially closed plastic freezer bag. Microwave for 5 minutes until wilted and reduced by half. Let sit for an additional minute then drain in a colander. Gently press to release liquid. Transfer to a cutting board and chop coarse. Return to colander to press out more liquid. Squeeze spinach in paper towels or a kitchen towel and add to a bowl to mix with all of the indigents except the butter, oil, phyllo, and grated Pecorino.
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Top baking pan with parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the paper in the size of a 14 by 9-inch phyllo dough sheet. Lay 1 phyllo sheet over oiled parchment rectangle. Brush top completely with oil-butter. Add another sheet, brush, and repeat until 10 sheets are stacked.Spread spinach mixture evenly over phyllo, leaving a ¼-inch border. Cover spinach with 6 more phyllo sheets, each brushed with oil and sprinkled with 2 tbsp of Pecorino cheese. Add final 2 phyllo sheets, buttered but without Pecorino.
Bake and Serve Spanakopita
- Gently press out any air bubbles working from the middle-out. Using a sharp knife, score pie into 24 equal pieces, with slits going only 3 sheets deep. Bake until top is golden and crispy, about 25 minutes. Let pie cool on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes. Slide parchment paper with pie onto a cutting board. Slice slits all the way through making 24 separate squares. Plate and serve.
- Pie can be baked a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Rewarm at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.
- To serve as a main course or lunch, cut squares larger before baking.
- As you work with phyllo, lay stack on a kitchen towel and cover sheets not in use loosely with plastic wrap covered by a moist kitchen towel.