Farm fresh spinach is combined with garlic, onions and feta cheese then baked in thin flaky layers of phyllo dough until golden brown. Our version of this classic Greek Spanakopita adds a bit of a twist to the traditional recipe adding a blend of feta and ricotta cheeses and a hand full of fresh dill. Formed in a slightly different manner, this recipe offers the perfect ratio of filling to crisp flaky layers of pastry.
- 2 pounds fresh spinach wilted, chopped, and drained
- ½ red onion sautéed finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
- 8 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- 4 ounces ricotta cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
- 1 package phyllo dough
- ¾ cup olive oil
- Position rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375°F. Lightly grease a 10” springform or cake pan.
- In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat wilt the spinach in a tablespoon of olive oil adding handfuls at a time. You may need to do this in more than one batch depending on the size of your skillet. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
- Sautee the onions until translucent, adding the garlic for the last minute. Add to bowl of spinach to cool. Once cooled, add the fresh dill and turn out on to a cutting board and finely chop.
- Press as much liquid as you can from the cooked spinach and onions using a mesh strainer and the back of a large spoon. A ricer also works very well for this.
- Return the spinach to the mixing bowl and add the cheese. Mix well and taste adding salt and pepper as needed. Once seasoned add the eggs and mix well.
- Place a sheet of phyllo dough in the bottom of the baking pan and brush with olive oil, and a second sheet and brush again.
- Lay a sheet of phyllo dough on a cutting board, long edge towards you and brush with olive oil, and another sheet and brush, add a third and brush again.
- Pipe or spoon a row of filling along the bottom edge of the dough, roll the dough into a rope. Starting in the middle of the pan, form a coil with the rope of dough, keeping it as tight as you can. The dough may crack a bit as you work.
- Repeat with more sheets and filling until the coil completely fills the pan. Brush the top of the coil with olive oil. Cover coil with a sheet of dough and brush with oil, add a second sheet and brush again. Tuck the edges of the top sheets down around the sides of the coil and sprinkle the top with sea salt.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool in the pan for five minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool.
- Spanakopita is served warm or at room temperature.
This can also be made on a baking tray if you do not have a large springform or round pan. Parchment paper would be a good idea.
Bake any remaining filling as hand pies. Using several sheets of phyllo, brush oil between the layers, add the filling, and fold into pockets or triangles. Bake until golden 20 - 25 minutes.