And I thought I was the foodie in the house
The Omnivore works downtown. And so this past week, he was smack-dab in the middle of our city’s Greek Festival. I’d like to think that in years’ past, he’d not even notice such a food-filled event. I’d like to think that my foodie influence on him propelled him out of his dull office and into the streets in search of some baklava, or gyros, or spanakopita.
Who knows what the real reason was that spawned him to toss his leftovers to the wayside and hit the streets for lunch. I am glad he went, however, because he came home with a dinner request for spanakopita. Now, we’ve gone over how recipe requests are usually handled in out house, and lucky for the ‘Vore, I was up to the phyllo-dough challenge.
But I really wasn’t into the idea of making an appetizer for the two of us to eat at home. I mean, really, we just want to get down to business when it is dinner time. Luckily, Ina Garten has developed a main-dish sized spanakopita, and one lazy afternoon I set off to blow whatever Greek indulgences the Omnivore experiences on the streets during the festival out of the water.
I also, of course, had to make it more healthy along the way. And, by the way, whole wheat phyllo dough doesn’t exist 🙂
Dinner Spanakopita (7 servings, Ina Garten, adapted from here)
14 sheets thawed phyllo dough
6 oz. small crumbled feta cheese
2 T parmesean cheese
10 oz thawed, squeezed, drained chopped spinach
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1.5 T pine nuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 egg + 1 egg white, beaten
1.5 T plain bread crumbs
1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
6 T Smartbutter, melted
olive oil cooking spray
Saute yellow onion for 5 minutes in a nonstick pan sprayed with cooking spray. Add sliced green onion and cook lightly, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine chopped spinach, sauteed onions, parmesean cheese, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, and the beaten eggs. Fold in cheese and pine nuts.
I was able to eek out 7 triangles with this recipe. Make the first triangle as described and then change your method as directed below.
Place 1 sheet phyllo dough on a nonstick surface and spread butter on 1/2 lengthwise half of the sheet. Fold the pastry sheet in half, lengthwise. Spread butter on top. Repeat with another sheet of phyllo but placing 1/2 lengthwise on top of the buttered dough, spreading butter on top of that, and folding lengthwise.
Summon your Girl Scout flag folding skills of yesteryear and place 1/3 cup of spinach filling at one end of the phyllo strip. Fold into a triangle, and then continue the pattern, folding in a triangle until all edges are sealed. Place seamside down on a baking pan.
Repeat with remaining filling and phyllo dough as follows: spread butter on a single phyllo sheet, and then top with another sheet of dough, repeating the pattern until you have phyllo stacked 4 sheets high. Using a pizza cutter, slice sheets of dough lengthwise, to create the dough for two spanakopitas. Place 1/3 cup of filling at the end of the dough and proceed folding like a triangle. Repeat this process to form 6 more pockets.
Bake in a preheated 375* oven for 33 minutes until browned and flakey. One serving = one strudel. They are delicious and rich. Enjoy!