I’ve had this recipe for years but hadn’t made it in a long time. One day, my daughter, Tissi, decided she wanted to make herself some quiche. She’s a veggie eater and she loves quiche so I dug up my recipe for her. The problem was when I wrote it out for her, I said it only needed one pie crust. Needless to say, she ended up with a ton of extra filling. It wasn’t until a couple of attempts later that I realized my recipe was actually for TWO pies! Poor Tis. She couldn’t figure out why the recipe wasn’t working for her. LOL! If you want to make just one pie, cut the recipe in half. Otherwise, make sure you have two pie crusts ready.
I learned to make this dish many years ago, way before I even got married. Spanakopita is a Greek spinach pie that’s traditionally folded into little triangles and eaten as a snack or appetizer. This recipe veers from the traditional in that it’s made into a casserole making it a lot less work than folding up a stack of little triangles. The combination of spinach and feta cheese is delicious, and the many layers of crispy phyllo dough make it seem like you slaved for hours over the stove. It’s a great side dish to serve at a dinner party or to take to a potluck. It looks impressive and tastes it, too!
2 lbs. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
½ lb. butter, melted
1 lb. cheese (combine ½ lb. crumbled feta cheese and ½ lb. cottage cheese)
2 tbsp. minced onion
1 tsp. chopped parsley (optional)
Salt to taste
½ lb. fresh or frozen phyllo dough (comes in flat sheets called “leaves”)
½ cup melted butter for brushing
Combine the first seven ingredients in a bowl.
Butter the bottom of a 9” x 13” pyrex glass baking dish.
Place 4 phyllo leaves on the bottom of the baking pan, brushing each leaf with melted butter before placing the next leaf on top.
Pour one-third of the spinach mixture on top of the buttered phyllo leaves.
Top with 4 more phyllo leaves, brushing each leaf with butter.
Continue layering until all the spinach mixture is used up.
Top with a final layer of buttered phyllo leaves. If you want a thicker, flakier crust, you can add more phyllo leaves. Just be sure to brush each leaf with butter.
Bake at 375º for 30 minutes or until top crust is golden brown.
NOTE: You may use fresh spinach if desired. Just chop it up.