Friday, February 6, 2009

Spinach Pie

This is my mother's version of Spanakopita.  It is slightly different that the traditional greek recipe in that she uses sour cream as a cheese and substitutes puff pastry for the phyllo dough.  I find that puff pastry is much easier to use than phyllo dough and it tastes much better.  The recipe I've given is the basic recipe.  It is my favorite.  At the bottom you'll find suggestions for things to add to the dish.  You can follow all the suggestions or just some.

  • 2 10 oz packets of frozen spinach
  • 2 1 lb packets of puff pastry (defrost in the fridge the day before)
  • 1 1 lb container of sour cream or ricotta cheese.  (Make sure you drain out any extra water/whey before using)
  • 2 medium onions (or more)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 375 farenheit
  2. Defrost spinach in microwave.
  3. Squeeze out excess water.  This is a very important step because you don't want the pie to be soggy.
  4. Dice the onions
  5. Sautee the onions in olive oil.  
  6. Add spinach and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg
  7. Continue sauteeing until spinach has wilted, onions are soft and any excess water is gone.
  8. Turn off heat.  Mix in sour cream (make sure that you've removed excess liquid from sour cream if there is any).
  9. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg if needed
  10. Butter/oil baking dish
  11. Like bottom and side of dish with puff pastry
  12. Add spinach mixture
  13. Cover with another layer of puff pastry.  Or alternatively, decorate top with criss-cross strips of puff pastry (this method makes it look prettier).  
  14. Seal edges and decorate with left over pieces of puff pastry
  15. Brush puff pastry with egg, milk or butter (this will make it nice and brown when it comes out of the oven).
  16. Bake for 1/2 hour or until puff pastry has risen
Additions/variations
  • Add 1 cup or more of feta cheese like the greeks do (step 8)
  • Use ricotta cheese instead of sour cream.  You can also try using cottage cheese but make sure you use the small curd version.
  • Add 1/2 cup of chopped parsley and/or 1/2 cup of chopped dill (sautee with spinach - step 5)
  • Add 1 egg to spinach mixture (step 8)
  • Substitute one of the onions for diced leeks or diced scallions (step 4)
  • Add sauteed chicken breast pieces (step 8)
  • Replace spinach with another green such as kale (step 2)



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