Man, is this good. I guess I should qualify that: if you like greens and cheese, this is phenomenal. Spinach Pie – or should I say, how to use up a box of old phyllo dough that is crumbling and unworkable. I’m trying to get rid of things in my freezer in preparation for the National Western Stock Show next weekend where a group of us will be bidding on 5-6 bison. My share of about 50 pounds will take up some space, so that unwieldy box of phyllo just had to go!While the folded little Greek triangles called spanakopita can be tricky to assemble, and require nice supple phyllo dough, the pie is thrown together in minutes and you can use all the broken pieces of phyllo. Start with cooked, chopped greens (I used half spinach and half Swiss chard from my garden last summer).Mix the greens with some diced onion that you cook until caramelized a bit, some garlic (I used minced roasted garlic), chopped green onions, eggs, ricotta cheese and feta cheese. You want to get this filling made before you even open the dough.Lay pieces of the phyllo dough across the bottom of the baking pan, spraying each layer with a little olive oil spray. don’t worry so much about how the phyllo looks, just make sure some long pieces hang over the sides to draw up over the filling.When you have about 4 layers of phyllo dough on the bottom, pour the filling into the dish and fold the edges over the filling. Top with several more layers of phyllo dough, spraying with olive oil spray between each layer and liberally on top.It’ll look like this before you pop it into the oven to bake.About 45 minutes later it will be nicely browned and nicely melted in the middle.Let it stand a few minutes before cutting into it – and see if you can stop at once slice. I certainly couldn’t!
Serves 8 as a side dish, or 4 as an entree
Because my phyllo dough was already crumbling, I didn’t take care to protect it while working with it. If yours is nice and fresh, keep the unused sheets covered while working on each sheet so it doesn’t dry out and then wrap up any leftovers well in plastic wrap and refreeze.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, roasted and minced
2 pounds spinach, chopped and squeezed dry
6 green onions, sliced
1 pound ricotta cheese
1 cup feta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 large eggs
8 sheets phyllo dough
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and saute onion until slightly caramelized. Add roasted garlic and cook for another minute. Combine onion and garlic with spinach, green onions, cheeses, salt, pepper and eggs. Set aside. Layer 4 sheets of phyllo dough in a 9 x 11 baking dish, making sure that edges hang over the dish by about 3-4 inches on all sides. Spray phyllo dough with cooking spray between each layer. Pour filling into phyllo dough lined dish and fold edges of phyllo up over the filling. Top with 4 more sheets of phyllo dough, spraying with cooking spray between each layer and on top of final layer. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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