This spanakopita (Greek for "spinach pie") recipe is adapted from one by my friend Rebecca Kee, mother of James and one of my closest friends. Adapted from her own mother's version, this recipe became a regular in Rebecca's house when, during her current pregnancy with the second as-yet-unnamed Kee boy, she found herself overcome by a total disinterest in vegetables. Knowing that giving up greens while eating for two was simply not an option, Bec began making this easy Mediterranean classic once (and sometimes twice) weekly. It was an assurance that she would be eating several helpings of dark, leafy greens (plus a decent amount of protein) every day--in a feta-laced, crispy phyllo vehicle.
After a recent afternoon of spanakopita and gossip at her kitchen counter, I finally demanded the recipe. She obligingly whipped out her iPhone and emailed it to me immediately, along with a link to her post about it on her own blog, Kee Kitchen.
While shopping for frozen chopped spinach, as per her recipe, I happened upon some very reasonably priced frozen chopped curly kale at Whole Foods, and decided to use a bag of it, plus one bag of regular frozen chopped spinach. The result was delicious--slightly nuttier than the all-spinach version.
Oh, and this fabulous green pie is huge and very filling--great for feeding a big group, or one or two people for several days in a row. It's the perfect thing to keep in the fridge during a week as busy as this one, allowing me to work all day without stopping for more than a few minutes to cut and warm up a square when hunger strikes.
- extra virgin olive oil Pantry
- 2 16-oz bags chopped, frozen kale, spinach or a combination of both, thawed $5
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped $0.50
- 3 cloves garlic, minced Pantry
- 4-5 sprigs fresh dill, chopped $1 for a bunch
- 5 eggs $1.50 for 6
- 1 16-oz carton cottage cheese or ricotta $2
- 8 oz feta cheese, crumbled $3.50
- 3/4 tsp each salt and pepper
- 12 sheets phyllo dough, thawed and brought to room temperature $4 for a 16-oz. box
Recipe Serves 8-10
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly oil an 8 1/2"x11" baking dish and set aside.
- Squeeze the thawed kale or spinach to remove as much liquid as possible and transfer to a very large mixing bowl.
- Add the onion, garlic. dill, eggs. cottage cheese, salt and pepper and mix until completely incorporated.
- Lay a sheet of phyllo on the bottom of the greased baking dish, folding the corners in (this will yield extra-crispy corner pieces of spanakopita).
- Use a pastry brush to spread olive oil all over it (a great trick is to put the olive oil in a spray bottle and just spritz evenly all over the phyllo, for super-easy application).
- Set another sheet of phyllo down on top of the first one and oil it as before, continuing to fold the corners in.
- Repeat until you have oiled and stacked 6 sheets of phyllo.
- Spread the entire kale/spinach mixture over the phyllo.
- Top with the remaining 6 sheets of phyllo, oiling as you go.
- Bake for 60 minutes, then let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting int squares and serving.