The traditional Greek appetizer spanakopita is a rich blend of spinach and cheese, wrapped in crispy phyllo dough. It can be prepared as a casserole, with the filling baked between layers of flaky pastry, or folded into triangles for a more finger food approach perfect for serving as hors d’oeuvres at a party.
We learned the latter technique from the ladies of Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church in South Bend, in anticipation of their School of Mediterranean Cookery class coming up May 4.
- 2 lbs spinach, frozen, thawed and squeezed dry
- 2 bunches green onions, chopped
- 2 lbs feta cheese, crumbled
- 6 jumbo eggs, beaten
- 1 lb cottage cheese, large curd
- 1 cup parsley, flat leaf, minced
- 1 lb butter, melted
- 1 lb box phyllo pastry
Preparing the filling and phyllo:
- Combine first 6 ingredients in bowl – set aside
- Remove phyllo roll from plastic sleeve
- With scissors or sharp knife, cut sheets in half to make 2 stacks of 9×12 sheets
- To prevent drying, cover one stack with wax paper and a damp paper towel while working with the other
- Remove a phyllo sheet from the stack and place it in front of you vertically.
- Using a pastry brush, butter the surface, taking care not to break it.
- Drop a tablespoon of filling in the center of the sheet about 2 inches up from the bottom
- Fold the bottom edge up to cover the filling – about 2 inches
- Fold the left edge of the sheet in to the center, creating a flap of about two inches. Similarly, fold the right edge over the left flap but do not go past the left edge. You should have a strip that is about 3 inches wide with the filling tucked in the bottom
- Starting with the lower left corner, fold the corner of the strip over to the right edge to form a triangle. Continue folding up then over until you reach the end of the strip.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Place triangles on lightly greased baking sheet and brush with melted butter.
- Bake until golden brown and flaky – about 15 minutes
- Cool 5-10 mins before serving