Spanakopita, Greek Spinach Triangles
Snack’s spinach triangles, or spanakopita, is one of my favorites things to eat in New York City. Filo, or phyllo, which means “leaf” in Greek, are tissue paper-thin like sheets of dough made from flour. They burn easily so keep the oven temperature at less than 300Âº when baking so that they don’t turn brown before the spinach mixture inside is cooked. When I made my own at home, I realized that it’s easier to use frozen spinach than the fresh ones and that it’s less work to make them in pie form, rather than in triangles. I’ve included the two recipes below.
2 bunches of spinach, hard stalks removed, thoroughly washed
feta cheese, crumbled
filo pastry, gently unrolled and thawed in the fridge overnight
1 bunch scallion, chopped
1/4 cup of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup stick of butter, melted for a few seconds using the microwave
salt, pepper, olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 275Âº and brush a baking sheet with some of the melted butter.
2. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet and sautÃ© half of the spinach until it wilts. Remove and squeeze out excess liquid from the spinach using a paper towel and chop roughly. Repeat for the other half with another 1 tbsp of olive oil.
3. SautÃ© scallions until soft in the same skillet. Return the spinach with the parsley and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes in low heat then remove from heat. Stir in the feta and the egg to moisten the spinach mixture.
4. Remove the filo dough from the fridge to a flat surface and keep it covered with a moist towel to keep the dough from getting brittle. Cut the filo in 3-by-11-inch strips and recover with the damp towel.
5. Brush a strip of filo with melted butter and place a spoonful of the spinach mixture at the end of the strip. Fold the end over to form a triangle and continue to fold the strip in triangles, like folding a flag. Keep your triangles covered with another damp towel until ready to bake all of them.
6. Brush the triangles lightly with butter and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
If you want to make spinach pie instead, follow these instructions after #3 above:
4. Remove the filo dough from the fridge to a flat surface and keep it covered with a moist towel to keep the dough from getting brittle. Cut the filo to fit the shape of your baking dish and recover with your damp towel.
5. Brush glass baking dish with melted butter and lay out a couple of filo sheets on the bottom. Distribute spinach mixture. Add a few more sheets of filo on top, coating each with butter, until you have several layers and you are out of spinach.
6. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and crisp.