We had what ended up being “A Very Greek Christmas” the weekend before the actual holiday. My immediate family got together a week ahead of time, since Christmas Eve always ends up being total chaos (fun! but super chaotic), had some great food and wine, and exchanged gifts.
One of my absolute favorites is this…we’ve been making it FOREVER and it’s always a crowd pleaser. You can’t eat just one piece of it…go ahead, I dare you to try!
We always eat this as an appetizer, but you could definitely serve larger portions and enjoy it as a main course. And, I know what some of you are thinking, but don’t fear the phyllo! It’s not as hard to handle as you think. Plus, I’m providing a link within the recipe to help you along 🙂
Spanakopita (or Spanakopitta)
from The Greek Cookbook (our copy is an original, from 1967, and falling apart at the seams! It’s an amazing recipe source)
3 pounds spinach
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup evaporated milk
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 pound phyllo pastry
melted butter, as needed
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wash spinach and cut into small pieces, then place in bowl. Salt lightly and stir. Squeeze out excess water in handfuls, then place in another bowl. Repeat until all spinach is squeezed dry.
Saute onion in half the butter until lightly browned, then add scallions and cook until wilted. Add spinach and stir until color gets lighter. Stir in dill, parsley, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until all water is absorbed.
Remove from heat and place in bowl. Immediately add milk. Add cheese to eggs in another bowl, then add to cooled spinach and mix well.
Line a pan with 8 sheets of phyllo (for tips on how to work with phyllo, click here), brushing each sheet with melted butter before topping with next sheet. Do not trim overhanging sections. Pour in spinach mixture, spreading evenly over phyllo. Fold part of phyllo that extends out of pan back over filling.
Lay remaining phyllo on top, again brushing each sheet with melted butter before adding the next. Now trim off overlap. Brush additional melted butter on top and score into diamond-shaped pieces.
Bake for 30-45 minutes. Let stand for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.
Linked to: Tastetastic Thursday