Spinach, feta and phyllo dough are the required ingredients for those yummy Greek appetizers called spanakopita. But why limit yourself to the simple starter when you can indulge in a whole pie for dinner just as easily.
One of my favorite Greek delicacies is spanakopita. I just love the flavors that come from the simple combination of fresh spinach, salty feta and phyllo dough. They’re so good, I usually eat several in one sitting. I eat so many of them in fact, I’m usually full before my actual dinner of falafel or tabbouleh hits the table, which got me thinking… Why does the spanakopita have to be so small? Why do they have to be appetizers? Why can’t it be a large pie, something suitable for an entree? Luckily Michael Symon answered my question with his spinach phyllo pie. Not only does it have the same flavors as its smaller counterpart, it is so easy to make and such a big hit with the family, I’m sure I’ll be making it again and again.
Phyllo spinach pie
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 pounds baby spinach, rinsed and dried
- 3 garlic cloves, mashed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 roll (8 ounces) phyllo dough, thawed
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spinach, garlic, salt and pepper and toss together to cook until spinach is wilted, three to four minutes. Transfer spinach mixture to a large bowl.
- Mix the sunflower seeds, lemon zest and feta into the spinach mixture until thoroughly combined.
- Roll out the phyllo dough and place one sheet into the prepared baking dish. Brush with the melted butter and lay down another sheet of phyllo dough on top. Continue buttering and layering the phyllo until you’ve layered eight sheets of phyllo.
- Spoon half of the spinach mixture onto the phyllo dough. Then lay three more sheets of phyllo on top, brushing each with butter as you go. Top with the remaining spinach mixture and three more sheets of buttered phyllo dough.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for five to 10 minutes, slice and serve.