Monday, May 9, 2011

Greek Spinach and Feta Pie (Spanakopita)


I pulled this recipe out of my sister's Cook's Illustrated magazine. Surprisingly, I didn't have to use every dish in my kitchen and spend 3 hours making this (as I have in the past with CI recipes). It was very, very tasty!

filling:
28 oz. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and well-squeezed of water (if using fresh, simply steam, drain, and chop)
12 oz. feta, rinsed, patted dry, and crumbled
3/4 c. Greek yogurt
4 medium scallions, sliced thin (about 1/2 c)
1/4 c. minced fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp. minced fresh dill (I used 1 t. dried)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon juice
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more, for kicks)

phyllo layers:
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted (CI calls for just 7, but that just wasn't realistic)
1/2 lb. phyllo (14" x 9") thawed - and I mean COMPLETELY thawed.
1 1/2 oz. grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions:
1. Mix the drained spinach and all other filling ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

2. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat oven to 425℉.

3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush a 14" x 9" rectangle on the parchment with butter and lay the first sheet of phyllo atop this rectangle. Brush the phyllo with butter, and layer on another sheet of phyllo. Repeat the buttering and layering with 10 total layers of phyllo.

4. Spread the spinach mixture over the phyllo, leaving a 1/4" border on all sides. Cover spinach mixture with 6 more sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter and sprinkling each with Pecorino cheese. Lay 2 more sheets of phyllo on top, brushing with butter but no Pecorino.

5. Working from the center outward, use palms of your hands to compress the layers and press out any air pockets. Use a sharp knife to score the top three layers of phyllo into 24 equal pieces. Bake until phyllo os golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet 10 minutes to 2 hours. Slide the spanakopita, still on parchment, onto a cutting board. Cut into squares and serve.

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