We can thank Greeks for this amazing savory pie made with spinach and encrusted in phyllo. It is a favorite in the Saucy household year round, but especially at Easter. This same filling and phyllo can be transformed into an appetizer simply by folding the filling into the phyllo as a triangle.
To say I love spinach would be an understatement. It is one of our favorite vegetables and I use it often and in varying ways. One of the great things about spinach is the frozen spinach you can buy at the market is really very good. While you can certainly use fresh spinach in this recipe, frozen chopped spinach makes the preparation time so much less.
This recipe is not difficult, but if you haven’t worked with phyllo before, it may appear daunting. Don’t be intimidated! It isn’t hard and it is so worth the effort. The wow factor of this dish is the reward!
As I indicated earlier, this recipe can easily be made into an appetizer version. Complete the filling as instructed, then use this technique for folding the individual pies into triangles. Brush each triangle with butter, place the triangles on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
- 1 package frozen phyllo sheets, thawed
- 1 - 12 ounce package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon marjoram
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces feta (or as I used this time, goat cheese)
- ⅔ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup parmesan cheese (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Additional stick of butter, melted (for the phyllo crust)
- Thaw and drain spinach. *
- In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
- Add the onion and garlic and sauté slowly until the onion is translucent.**
- Add the drained spinach, marjoram, nutmeg and salt and pepper.
- Remove from heat and stir in the feta (or goat cheese), ricotta, parmesan and beaten egg.
- Mix well.
- Allow to cool.
- Carefully remove the Phyllo roll from the packaging. Most packages come in 12 x 18 inch sheets when opened fully. Using sharp knife, cut the sheets in half to 9x12 inch sheets, place them atop each other. To prevent drying, cover the stack with a piece of parchment paper and a damp paper towel.
- In an 11 x 7 inch greased baking pan, begin layering phyllo sheets (one at a time), using a pastry brush, brush each sheet with melted butter, until you have layered ten sheets.
- Add the cooled spinach filling.
- Begin layering phyllo sheets (one at a time), using a pastry brush, brush each sheet with melted butter, on the top of the filling, until you have layered ten sheets on top.
- Tuck any overhanging edges of the top layers of phyllo down around the sides of the filling.
- With a sharp knife, score the top of the phyllo crust, cutting down about 4 layers of the phyllo, in a diamond-shaped grid, each grid being about serving sized.***
- Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
**Medium low heat and a slow sauté will assure your garlic doesn't brown.
***Scoring the top of the pie will make for easy slicing to serve, so score your pie in serving-sized diamonds or squares.