I dont know anyone that doesnt love Greek food. I know I do! The fresh flavors are just so inviting and I crave it often. Both mine and Debbies favorite Greek dishes are Chicken Souvlaki with those amazing lemon roasted potatoes and Spanikopita. So we jumped at the chance to review Matenopoulos’ new Greek cookbook, “Its All Greek to Me” and try out her Spanikopita recipe. This is the cookbook:
We chose to make the Spanikopita for this review, but I cant eat Spanikopita without Tzatziki so I made that recipe too. I have to say that I have tried to make Tzatziki from other recipes before, but they never quite turned out that well, but this one was amazing! Garlicy with lots of dill. Love it and highly recommend it. I wont ever use another recipe. And as it turned out, the Spanikopita recipe was fantastic too.
The recipe was meant to be made into a large single pie, however, it has just been me and Jessica at home in the last couple weeks so I decided to make individual Spanikopitas instead so that I could freeze some for later. I usually love to eat the little triangle squares filled with the Spanikopita mixture, but this time I made little logs just big enough for one to be my dinner. The only other thing I changed from the recipe is that I used an Olive Oil spray rather than brushing it on the layers of Phyllo. I just wanted to minimize the amount of fat in the dish. Dont be intimidated by this dish. Its very easy and Debbie Matenopoulos’ recipe has clear and easy to follow instructions.
We are providing the recipe from the book below, but if you want to make little logs like I did, all you have to do is take 1 sheet of Phyllo, spray it or brush Olive Oil on top, layer 1 more phyllo sheet on top and then spoon about a cup of filling and spread it along one end of the phyllo in a log shape leaving at least an inch on three sides. Fold both of the borders of the long sides over the filling first and then fold the short side over and keep rolling the filling over and over until there is no phyllo left. Cooking time for these individual Spanikopitas are about 15 mins at 350 degrees or 25 mins if you are cooking them from frozen.
Give this recipe a try and you wont be disappointed. This recipe is delicious and I cant wait to try many of the others in this book! For your own copy, click on the link (picture) below to purchase this book on Amazon,
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for baking dish
- 1 bunch scallions, white and tender green parts, washed and thinly sliced
- ½ large sweet onion, finely chopped
- 2 pounds fresh spinach, coarse stems removed, washed in several changes of cold water, drained, and chopped
- 1 pound brine-packed Greek feta
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh dill
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (1-pound) package phyllo dough sheets (13 × 18 inches), thawed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9 × 13-inch baking dish.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the scallions and the onion, and sauté until translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté until just wilted. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and transfer to a fine-mesh strainer. Cool slightly, then squeeze as much excess water as possible from the spinach, and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Crumble the feta into small pieces and add it to the spinach mixture. Add the dill and mix gently to combine. Add the eggs and pepper. Mix well to combine with impeccably clean hands or a silicone spatula.
- Roll the phyllo dough out on a flat surface, working quickly and keeping it covered to prevent it from drying out. Place 2 phyllo sheets into the baking dish at a time, centering them and letting the edges hang over the sides. Brush the top sheet of each 2-sheet layer with a little of the remaining olive oil, but do not brush the overhanging edges. Continue in this manner until you have used 10 of the phyllo
- Spread the spinach-feta mixture evenly over the phyllo dough layers in the prepared dish. Fold the overhanging phyllo dough over the filling, then continue to layer the phyllo dough, brushing each 2-sheet layer with olive oil, until you have used all of the dough. Trim the top layers of phyllo to fit the baking dish. Slowly pour the remaining olive oil on top, and spread evenly.
- Before baking, using a large knife, very carefully score the pie into 8 to 10 pieces, cutting through the top layers just until you reach the filling. Pre-cutting makes it much easier to serve, as the phyllo dough becomes crisp and very fragile after baking.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top is golden brown and flaky, watching carefully. Cool for 10 minutes, slice the precut pieces all the way through, and serve.