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Spanokopita or Greek Spinach Pie

Spanokopita or Greek Spinach Pie (Makes four servings)

A few weeks ago I was at a potluck lunch with some colleagues from my university department and the hostess had baked this wonderful dish that was everybody’s favorite. Though this version of the recipe comes to us from a 1977 issue of “Homes and Gardens” and isn’t quite authentic it certainly made me reminisce about my wonderful travels throughout Greece. If you’d like to sample the original recipe you will have to join us on our Classical Greece bicycle tour from Athens to Olympia.

½ cup sliced green onion with tops
½ teaspoon dried dill
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

¼ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk

2 beaten eggs
1 cup cream-style cottage cheese
½ cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ounces)
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 16×16-inch sheets phyllo dough

2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a skillet cook the onion and dill in heated olive oil until the onion is tender. Squeeze excess water from spinach, add to skillet. Cook until heated through; keep warm.
In a large saucepan melt a ¼ cup butter; blend in flour and salt. Stir in milk all at once. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly; cook and stir 1 minute more. In a small bowl beat the eggs and then add half of the cream sauce beat and return to saucepan. Stir in cheeses, spinach mixture and baking powder. Set aside.

Brush half of one sheet of Phyllo dough with some of the melted butter; fold in half. Butter half of this dough rectangle and fold again, forming an 8-inch square. Place in greased 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Pour in spinach mixture.

Repeat buttering and folding the remaining Phyllo dough. Place atop spinach mixture; tuck in edges. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees until mixture is set and top is browned, 35-40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. 

Kalorexi (Bon Appétit in Greek!)

Image courtesy of whitehaiger food blog