Monday, August 19, 2013

Spanakopita, or Spinach and Feta Phyllo Triangles

Along with the baba ganoush, I was in charge with making the spinach pies for Anne's niece's bridal shower, as I mentioned yesterday.  The baba ganoush was quick and simple.  These spinach pies were not!  Ha.  But they were worth it, and really they weren't that bad; I'm sure that tripling any recipe would take a long time.

I worked on these babies for two days; I made five or six trays' worth (well over 100 little triangles).  The good news is that they can be refrigerated if you want to put them together ahead of time before baking (they can also be frozen; I have two trays of frozen ones in the freezer right now!) so they are very doable for a party (or a shower).  And they are really delicious.  Anne said her party devoured two trays of them quickly, and when I baked a tray here for us, they were scarfed down in seconds.

Now, they are definitely not an everyday kind of thing to make and eat: first because of the sheer amount of time it takes to make the filling, prepare the phyllo dough, and fold the triangles, and second, because of the butter.  There is a lot of butter in these little pies; they must be special occasion only food!  Basically you take one thin sheet of phyllo dough and brush it with melted butter.  Add another sheet of dough, and add more butter.  Repeat one more time; then use a pizza cutter to divide it into thin rectangles, add the filling, and fold them up into triangles - then brush with more butter!  It's no wonder they are so delicious.
Butter time!
As for the filling, it's made with spinach and feta, obviously, but also parsley, scallions and dill, which really makes the flavors pop.  The dough is delicate ate flaky, and the filling is cheesy and herby and spinachy... they're just really good, and make it very hard to eat just one.

I worked on these for so much time that I think I could fold them into triangles in my sleep.  Since you may not have this knowledge yet, I recommend going to the blog I got the recipe from and checking out the step-by-step directions.  Once you figure it out, they go quickly!


spanakopita, or spinach and feta phyllo triangles
from Sprinkles of Parsley 

1 package phyllo pastry
1/3 cup olive oil
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch dill
1/2 pound crumbled feta cheese
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 pound butter


1) Chop scallions (keep these separate from the herbs), parsley and dill.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute scallions until soft.  Add spinach and saute until wilted, stirring constantly.  Strain the liquid from the spinach mixture into a small bowl.

2) Transfer spinach liquid to a small saucepan and heat over high heat until it reaches a boil.  Boil until the liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons.  Transfer spinach mixture to a bowl and add and add the 2 tablespoons of spinach liquid, parsley, dill, and feta cheese.  Mix until combined.  Beat eggs in separate bowl, and add to mixture; stir until combined.

3) To prepare phyllo dough, carefully roll it out on a clean surface.  Place the sheet of plastic the dough came wrapped in over the entire surface and cover with a damp towel.  Always make sure to keep the towel over the plastic to avoid letting the dough dry out - but don't let the towel touch the dough or it will make it soggy.

4) Take one sheet of phyllo and lay it out on a clean surface (I used my pastry mat).  Brush the entire sheet of phyllo with melted butter.  Then lay a second sheet of phyllo over the first and brush with more butter.  Then cut your phyllo into 4 long strips; it is easiest to cut it in half and then cut each half again.

5) Spoon one teaspoon of filling onto the edge of each rectangle.  Lift your bottom right corner over the filling and evenly fold along the left side to create a clean edge.  Press down gently so the top is flat.  Then flip up, then to the right, to the left, up again, and continue the steps until you reach the edge of the phyllo.  Try to keep the edges always lined up to create a clean triangle.  When you reach the end, tuck any remaining dough under and placed on a grease cookie sheet.  Brush triangles with melted butter on both sides and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
The lovely bride eating a spanakopita :)

1 comment:

  1. They were wonderful! and they made my Red Tent party a huge success! Thank you Bridget Catering!!