Spinach, feta and ricotta cheese trapped between crispy, flaky layers of golden phyllo dough. A classic Greek favorite you can eat as an appetizer, side or even as a vegetarian main dish along with a green salad.
The filling is made of frozen spinach with the water squeezed out. Boo, I know, it’s a pain but the end result is worth it. You can squeeze the spinach in a ricer if you have one, a colander using a spoon to press it down (you can squeeze it with your hands too), or you can twist it up in a clean kitchen towel.
If you prefer, you can use fresh spinach <– I didn’t. It needs to be sauteed while the frozen does not – you use it in the filling thawed, as is.
The filling is also flavored with plenty of dill and parsley, if you like mint you can use that instead of the dill. There’s also eggs to help hold everything together and sauteed onion with garlic <– my contribution.
If you never worked with phyllo dough before you can find it in the frozen section of your market. It comes in thin sheets that look and feel like fragile paper. They tear easily – if you find yours tearing you can still use them – fit the pieces together like a puzzle as your building your layers.
Both the bottom and top crust have 10 layers of phyllo each and must be placed one at a time on top of each other. Each layer has to be brushed with melted butter – the one step of the recipe that takes the most time but it’s the fun part. The home stretch.
It bakes up hot and savory, rich and so delicious you will eat square after square without a care.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅓ cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 20 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed*
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill (or mint)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- sea or kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 20 sheets of phyllo dough, thawed to room temperature
- 12 tablespoons melted butter, plus more if needed
- Preheat the oven to 350° degrees F. Butter a 9x13-inch pan.
- In a small frying pan heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook until softened, stirring often about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the dill and parsley.
- Squeeze the water out of the spinach in a colander, or in batches using a ricer or by twisting it up in a clean kitchen towel.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs, feta and ricotta cheese together.
- Fold in the onion mixture, spinach, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
- Unroll the phyllo sheets and cover them with a damp paper towel. Take out one phyllo sheet and lay it in the bottom of the pan - if the ends hang over the edge that's ok. Use a pastry brush to coat it with butter from edge to edge.
- Repeat 9 more times buttering each phyllo sheet as you go.
- Scoop the spinach filling into the pan and spread evenly from edge to edge. Fold the edges of the pyhllo dough over the filling.
- Repeat with the phyllo dough 10 more times being sure to butter each one from edge to edge. Tuck the edges into the side of the pan if possible or trim the excess off with a sharp paring knife and discard.
- Butter the top sheet well. Score through the top layer of phyllo with a paring knife cutting it into squares so it will be easy to cut once cooked.
- Bake 35 - 40 minutes until deep golden brown on top. Let it sit 5-10 minutes. Cut it into squares along the score marks.
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