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Spanakopita (a.k.a. Spinach Pie)

by Emma on March 9, 2011

in Dinner

Sometime around Valentines day I ate at a local Italian restaurant with a cute boy.

It's true. Gasp.

And this was what he ordered: Spanakopita. Which I couldn't pronounce. Still can't. I've been known to call this dish, "Spinoza" and if you get that reference you are as big a philosophy nerd as me.

I'm sorry.

At any rate, he let me have a bite of his Spanakopita and I thought it was delish! So I've been wanting to make it ever since.

I did a big of research online and it seems that this may be a greek dish (as opposed to italian). Also the name means "spinach pie" which doesn't sound all that appetizing. But it is. Just believe.

I also noticed that there seems to be two main ways this dish is presented, in a casserole type form, or folded into triangles. I was going to attempt the triangles, but I didn't write out directions beforehand. And when it came time I realized I didn't really know how to fold these into triangles, and  filo dough dries easily so I didn't want to stop working and look it up.


So I folded these into rectangles. They look like greek egg rolls. Please forgive my presentation, but believe when I say they were still quite tasty. :)

Spanakopita, makes 10 "egg roll" sized pies, recipe adapted from David Lebovitz

Ingredients: 12 ounces (16 sheets) filo dough, 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 medium onion, 12 ounces fresh spinach, 8-10 ounces feta, 2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1 egg, juice from 1 small lemon, salt and pepper and 4-5 tablespoons melted butter.

Finely chop the onion and begin cooking it in a shallow pan with the olive oil over medium heat. Rinse, de-stem and chop up the spinach. Add this to the cooking onion once the onion is nearly done (4-5 minutes or until translucent). Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, turn off heat and cover. You want the spinach to wilt mostly but not become mushy.

Mushy is gross.

Now combine the cooked vegetables in a bowl with the cubed feta and chopped parsley. Stir in the egg and lemon juice. Roll out filo dough, and using two sheets at once wrap up 1/4 cup of the filling in the crusts. Brush butter on filo dough as you fold, and over the top before placing it on the baking sheet. Once you have done all the pies, bake at 350 F for 18-20 minutes.

Also, you can wrap these up before baking and freeze them for another night. Like a greek hot pocket. :)

xo. Emma


Jacci March 9, 2011 at 12:04 pm

i’ve always thought spanakopita was intimidating because of the triangles, but now that i’ve seen your ‘egg roll’ ones i’m definitely going to give it a try! thanks for the inspiration :)

anne March 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I love spanakopitas! And I love your way of presenting them here :-) Thanks for the recipe, I’ll give it a try tomorrow! x

kristin March 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm

NOM!!! greek food is my absolute fave. :]

Anna March 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm

totally can’t pronounce it either. but i do love me some spinach! these look fab. :)

Meghan March 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm

You had me at “greek hot pocket.” Actually way before that, but well…yum. Can’t wait to try!

Bekka March 9, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I am soooo crazy for good Mediterranean food. This looks fantastic!

Whittles March 9, 2011 at 9:35 pm
Stacy March 9, 2011 at 9:51 pm

My dad owns and runs a restaurant on the Greek Island of Samos ( scroll down on this page ) and believe you me, Span-i-koe-pita is one of the best Greek dishes out there! I like your attempt here :) Next time try with just a cheese filling inside…those are also to die for!
PS. LOVE your blog. And I am NO vegetarian!

Joanna March 10, 2011 at 7:50 pm

these look delish! just fyi for next time, making the triangles is super easy! you put the filo in strips, put a spoonful of the spinach mixture in the corner and start folding the strips the same way you fold a flag

Cristina March 11, 2011 at 7:38 pm

When you wrote “Spinoza”, I automatically thought of Hegel’s quote, “You are either a Spinozist or not a philosopher at all.” Too funny.

Erica b. March 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I tried these for the first time my last class block and they were AMAZING!! I don’t even like feta cheese, but I was licking my plate clean.

Sasha March 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Love that you did a greek dish! Makes my greek self happy :) But folding them the way you did is sooo much easier and actually how my mom’s done it all her life. Lately she’s started making it in a casserole dish and using puff pastry on top…umm yum! So happy you posted this :)