Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Greece - Spanakopita

This is a traditional Greek dish, consisting of spinach and feta cheese baked between light flaky pastry layers. Some people may be intimidated at the thought of using phyllo pastry dough, but it's really very simple to use. You should seriously give this one a try! it's REALLY tasty!!

1/8 c. olive oil
1/2 c. onion, finely chopped
2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 lb. feta cheese
20 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed completely
1/2 c. butter, melted (plus more if needed)

Heat oil and cook onions until tender and transparent. Add spinach and cook 5 minutes. Add parsley and pepper. Cover and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes or until any liquid has evaporated and spinach lightly sticks on bottom of pan. Add milk and stir. Pour spinach in large bowl and cool. Add feta cheese and eggs, mixing well. Brush pan with melted butter across the bottom and up the sides. Carefully layer 10 sheets of phyllo dough, one at a time, brushing each layer with butter, in 9x13x2 inch pan.
Spread spinach mixture over crust. Smooth the top. Top with remaining 10 layers of phyllo dough, again one at a time, brushing each layer with butter. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour or until lightly browned. To serve, cut into squares and then cut each square diagonally into triangles. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

When using phyllo dough, you want to be careful not to let the layers dry out. Lay your dough flat on your work space and cover with a damp towel. Remove one layer of dough at a time and promptly replace the towel while your buttering each layer in the pan. Just be sure to keep your towel covering your remaining layers until they're all used and they won't dry out! Easy, right?

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