Greece (Part 1)

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Spanakopita

Traditional Greek savory pastry. Spanakopitas can be labor-intensive to prepare but they are well worth the effort!

Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12-15 strudels

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 500g frozen* chopped spinach, defrosted* (see notes below)
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups small-diced feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 24 sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted* (see notes below)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Gently squeeze most of the water out of the spinach and place it in a large bowl.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, add the onion, and cook over medium-low heat (5 minutes).
  4. Add the scallions to the pan and cook until the scallions are wilted but still green (2 minutes).
  5. Add the cooked onion and scallions to the spinach.
  6. Add eggs, Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons bread crumbs, nutmeg, salt, pepper, feta, and pine nuts to the spinach mixture.
  7. Place one sheet of phyllo dough flat on a table. Brush the dough lightly with melted butter and sprinkle it with a teaspoon of breadcrumbs. Place another sheet of phyllo dough on top of the first, brush it with butter, and sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs. Continue in this way until there are four sheets on top of each other. Use just enough breadcrumbs between layers so that the sheets don’t stick together.
  8. Cut the layered sheets of phyllo lengthwise: cut in thirds lengthwise for small strudels, cut in half lengthwise for large strudels.
  9. Place spinach filling on the end of the sheets: use 1/3 cup filling for small strudels, use 1/2 – 2/3 cup filling for large strudels.
  10. Roll the phyllo sheets diagonally to make a triangle. Then fold the triangle of phyllo back straight. Alternate diagonal and straight folds until you reach the end of the sheet. The filling should be totally enclosed.
  11. Continue assembling layered phyllo sheets and folding over filling until all of the filling has been used.
  12. Place strudels on a sheet pan with the seam sides down.
  13. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with salt, and bake for 30-35 minutes until the phyllo is brown and crisp.
  14. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Frozen chopped spinach and frozen phyllo pastry dough can be defrosted in the microwave (using the preset defrost function), however this may cause the phyllo to become brittle and difficult to fold. For best results, we recommend thawing the spinach and phyllo in the refrigerator for 24 hours prior to recipe preparation.
  • Fresh spinach (steamed and chopped) can be substituted for frozen spinach.

Family Ratings

  • McM: 5/5, these are amazing fresh from the oven and also delicious served cold the next day!

Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/dinner-spanakopitas-recipe.html

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