Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Big Fat Greek Spanakopita Pie

Spanakopitas are popular Greek appetizers in which spinach and feta cheese are encased in buttered phyllo pastry. The original version is quite delicious, yet extremely labor-intensive.  I’m passing along my Spanakopita Pie, which combines the ingredients from the original Spanakopita filling and bakes them up into one delicious pie.

Although this pie contains more spinach and fewer eggs than most quiches, it is like a quiche in that it can be made ahead and freezes well. A whole, baked pie can be reheated in a 300-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or individual slices can be heated in the microwave. The baked pie can be frozen for up to one month.

Spanakopita Pie is a great meatless entrée for a light supper served with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers or a fresh fruit salad. Or, serve your pie as a side dish to grilled chicken or lamb chops for a Greek-inspired meal.

  • 1 tablespoon butter, margarine or olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, green and white parts included, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup lowfat cottage cheese
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 frozen deep-dish pie shell
  • Paprika, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Melt butter or heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add green onions, oregano and dill weed and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add spinach, black pepper, salt, nutmeg and cayenne and sauté 3 minutes more. Set aside to cool.

Combine feta and cottage cheeses with eggs in a medium bowl. Add spinach mixture and pour into the pie shell. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 6 servings.