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Every summer, as our annual trip to Greece to visit my inlaws draws near, I get a hankering for Greek flavors. Often, I can’t stand to turn on the oven in the Chicago heat to make baked dishes but today was a reasonable 80 degrees. I have been craving flakey phyllo and my dill plant has been growing like the weed that it is so all signs pointed to a spinach pie.

I have mistakenly called this dish Spanakopita for years. My half Greek husband just taught me that Spanakopita has no cheese in it. Spanakotiropita is a spinach AND feta pie. Since I believe that everything tastes better with cheese, I always make this version.

Some people say that phyllo is hard to work with. I have never had that problem. You need to use it fresh and do not let it dry out. If you stick to those two rules, you should have no problem at all. It can be found in the refrigerator section of many major grocery stores.

Ingredients are key to making this recipe as tasty as possible. You will see that I use frozen spinach (which may make some purists cringe) but I always buy the best Greek feta from a local ethnic grocer, use good olive oil and fresh herbs.

Spanakotiropita makes a fabulous Sunday meal. Leftovers heat up well in the oven, taste good at room temperature for lunch and freeze well. I included step by step photos for those fearful of working with phyllo for the first time. Kali oreksi!

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Spanakotiropita
3 10oz. boxes of frozen spinach
1 lb. feta cheese, crumbled
3 T butter
4 spring onions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 eggs, lightly beaten
extra virign olive oil
salt and pepper

Thaw frozen spinach. I usually put it in a colander and run hot water over it. Squeeze handfuls of spinach until all water is removed and put spinach in a mixing bowl. Add crumbled feta cheese. In a small pan, melt butter. Chop green onions and add to the butter, cooking a few minutes until fragrant. Add butter and onions and fresh dill to the bowl. Stir together everything with a fork. Add lightly beaten eggs and combine into mixture.

Brush a 9 x 13 pan with olive oil. Lay down a full sheet of phyllo. The edges should come up and over the sides. Brush with olive oil. Lay down another entire sheet and brush with olive oil. Now I like to cut sheets in half with kitchen sheers so they fit just the bottom of the pan. Continue to layer sheets of phyllo brushed with olive oil until you have 6 sheets.

Put spinach and cheese mixture in the pan and spread evenly. Layer with 4 more half sheets that completely cover the spinach. Brush each layer with olive oil. I use full sheets again for the top two layers and allow the edges to come up over the top of the pan. Carefully roll the edges that overlap the pan inwards to create a rolled edge of phyllo around the perimeter of the pie. Brush entire top and edges with olive oil. With a sharp knife, make slits in the top of the pie to avoid bubbles when cooking.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until phyllo pastry is light brown. Remove and cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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14 Responses to “Spanakotiropita – Greek Spinach and Cheese Pie”

  1. Adrienne Says:

    I have been making and calling this spanakopita for ages. Let’s see if I can figure out how to pronounce this new version… looks delicious!

  2. Neen Says:

    This looks so, so very much better than the awful version of Spanakopita that was served in cafeteria of the the Federal building where I used to work. And anything that involves dill is very much welcome.

  3. Anne Says:

    This looks so good, and not as hard as I’d expect. I’ll have to try it. Great for my little veg-head. Speaking of little, I’ll bet mini-whipped is going to get quite the doting in Greece this summer!

  4. EB Says:

    A yearly Greece trip? Oh I cannot tell you just how jealous I am.

  5. Marilyn Says:

    I’ve been saying ‘spanakopita’ all these years, too – and most menus (incorrectly) read the same! Glad you cleared that up. Your blog is lovely – and the spanakotiropita looks pretty good, too.

  6. July 23 dinner: chard-cheese phyllo triangles « Anotheryarn Eats Says:

    [...] July 23 dinner: chard-cheese phyllo triangles Filed under: Recipes by me, Uncategorized — Tags: greens, swiss chard — anotheryarn @ 2:24 pm Somehow I managed to let a lot of swiss chard accumulate in my fridge.  I was overwhelmed and kept flipping through my cookbooks hoping for inspiration.  Finally, in Laurel’s Kitchen I noticed two things, one that swiss chard can be used in many recipes that call for spinach and a recipe called chardopita.  It is made a lot like their spanakopita recipe and I suddenly recalled how I so wanted to make that recipe when I first browsed Laurel’s Kitchen in junior high.  Unfortunately we never seemed to have the required 2 lbs of spinach and I didn’t even know what chard was at the time.  But I was quickly approaching 2 lbs of chard in my fridge and yesterday’s pickup definitely pushed me towards that.  And then I remembered the recent post on Whipped about spanakotiropita.  Of course at that point I went into this mode of trying to figure out the most authentic recipe, surely Laurel’s Kitchen’s version with cottage cheese wasn’t it.  And finally I snapped out of it and decided to wing it a bit.  I considered a few recipes and came up with the following recipe.  And since my Better Homes & Garden’s cookbook said I could freeze their spanakopita recipe I went ahead and did that for all but 4 triangles (keep your fingers crossed).  I also experimented with using a can of spray oil instead of brushing it over the phyllo, I think I ended up using the entire can and I don’t think it really helped me save any time, it certainly made cleanup a bit more difficult (an entire counter was covered in oil).  Finally I thought the phyllo seemed a bit oily and I don’t remember that last time I worked with using the classic brush method. [...]

  7. Haley Says:

    We’d like to invite you to participate in our July berry recipe contest. All competitors will be placed on our blogroll, and the winner will receive a fun prize! Please email me, haleyglasco@gmail.com, if you’re interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details: http://blog.keyingredient.com/2008/06/06/key-ingredient-cooks-kitchen-recipe-contest/

    Thanks,
    Haley
    KI Blogger

  8. Jane Says:

    This is the first recipe I actually tried from your website, and it won’t be my last! This was absolutely delectable and surprisingly easy to make! Thanks so much for posting it and for inspiring me to make it. I just wish that you could have stopped by for a piece!

  9. Kristy Says:

    I just made this tonight and substituted the spinach for green tomatoes.We have them in abundance seeing as the sun has been hiding. It worked great as an alternative.I just added more feta than usual.

  10. daryl Says:

    this is as close to st. catherines that i have found in the 24 years since i lost my original clipping from the l.a. times. thanx a bunch daryl in venice.ca.

  11. Mark Says:

    I use a special cutting tool for phyllo instead of a knife, makes the job quicker and accurate.

  12. Spanakopita – Greek Spinach Pie « Place To Be Says:

    [...] I was excited when Jenny announced the theme for the potluck a month ago – Greek food. I had never made any Greek food before, but it was a perfect opportunity for me to look up and try new recipes. After some googling, I decided to go for spanakopita, and I followed the recipe from the blog Whipped. [...]

  13. small cottage plans Says:

    small cottage plans…

    [...]Spanakotiropita – Greek Spinach & Cheese Pie Recipe :: Whipped[...]…

  14. Chicken Feet & Clam Chowdah Review: Kipos Greek Taverna in Chapel Hill Says:

    [...] and the more familiar baklava. It’s also the place where you can get a generous slice of spankotiropita to go. Each bite of this phyllo pie, stuffed with spinach and feta, has a soft center and [...]

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