Episode 438: Spanakopita
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking
Yield: One 8-inch square pan / 8 servings
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ of a large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
10 ounces baby spinach
A large pinch of dried dill (or about 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill)
2 large eggs
4 ounces feta, crumbled
1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan
¼ tsp. fine salt or table salt
Pinch of grated nutmeg
4 Tbsp. (½ stick) unsalted butter
½ lb. phyllo dough, thawed according to package directions
Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and scallion, and cook until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the spinach a handful at a time, stirring to coat. Season to taste with salt, and cook until the spinach is wilted and its liquid is released, 5 minutes. Raise the heat and continue to cook, stirring, until the liquid has evaporated and the spinach is dry, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the dill. Let stand until cool enough to handle; then squeeze to remove any remaining liquid. Coarsely chop the spinach mixture.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add the feta, Parmesan, salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and the nutmeg, and mix well. Stir in the spinach mixture.
Melt the butter, and lightly grease an 8-inch square pan. Unroll the phyllo onto a clean work surface. Using a thin, sharp knife, cut through the stack of phyllo sheets across their width. You should now have two stacks of smaller phyllo sheets, about 8 per stack. Cover the phyllo with a dry towel, and then cover the dry towel with a damp towel.
When the butter is melted, lay 1 sheet of phyllo in and up the sides of the prepared pan, and brush the sheet lightly with melted butter. Top with 7 more phyllo sheets, lightly brushing each one as you lay it down. (You should use one entire stack of the phyllo sheets.) Spread the spinach-and-cheese mixture over the layered phyllo. Top with the rest of the phyllo sheets, brushing each one with butter, including the top sheet. (If you run short on melted butter, olive oil works too.) Tuck in any ragged phyllo edges around the side. With a thin, sharp knife, cut the pie into diamonds, but do not cut through to the bottom, or the filling will leak into the pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Bake the spanakopita until crisp and golden, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to stand for a few minutes. Cut the diamonds through to the bottom. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.