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Greek pie recipe - spanakopita with spinach and feta cheese

Greek spanakopita
Greek spanakopita (Photo Flickr Stijn Nieuwendijk)

Greek pie recipe - spanakopita with spinach and feta cheese

Rambling on Greek paths, I simply fall in love with spanakotiropita, the traditional Greek pie recipe with spinach and feta cheese!
Have you tried this easy and absolutely delicious fie before?

Spanakotiropita (known also as Spanakopita) is an authentic Greek pie, very rich, stuffed with spinach, onions, cheeses (usually feta cheese), and herbs that are all enfolded by crispy, flaky phyllo dough.

This easy to make Greek spanakopita, made following my Greek pie recipe, is a perfect snack for breakfast as well as any time during the day, for taking away or serve it on a plate - is just great as it is or served as an aperitif, topped with yogurt, and along with salad, grilled meat or other delicious food.

Spanakopita can be served all year round - at Christmas, Thanksgiving Day, Easter, special events, celebrations, parties, or any other time you feel like for an appetizing slice of pie.
And for all pastry lovers, spanakotiropita - the greenish pie, goes perfectly for any occasion and even on St. Patrick's Day! :)

Give a try with this perfect recipe for a delicious traditional Greek spinach and feta cheese pie and... you may become addicted to it and many other yummy international cooking recipes from Mediterranean cuisine!

Or if you are a spinach and Middle Eastern cuisine lover, as well, then definitely you'll enjoy my other recipe - Best chickpeas crepe recipe - with spinach!

Hmm, when it comes to gastronomy... I just can't wait to get a bite from one of my favorite things to eat ! : )

Spanakopita ingredients
Spanakopita ingredients (Photo Flickr Dragana Harris)

Few tips about spanakopita's ingredients - Greek pie recipe
Ingredients are the key to making this traditional Greek spinach and feta pie recipe sooo delicious.

You need to use fresh phyllo and do not let it dry out. If you stick to those two "rules", you should have no problem at all.

You may use frozen spinach (which could make some purists cringe), and always use the best feta cheese, very good olive oil, and freshest herbs.

Spanakotiropita is an authentic and very rich Greek pie, stuffed with spinach, onions, cheeses, and herbs that are all enfolded by crispy, flaky phyllo dough.
Flaky phyllo sheets are layered with savory spinach and feta cheese filling.
Spanakopita can be made as a "pie", pita or individual phyllo triangles.
Spanakotiropita makes a fabulous weekend meal served as an aperitif or main course.
You can serve it as it is or with yogurt aside and more herbs as you like.

Preparation time: 30 min.
Total time: 1 h 30 min.
Serves: 15 - 20

- 1 lb. phyllo pastry sheets/ 8 sheets phyllo dough
- 2 pounds spinach - rinsed and chopped
- 2 large onions - chopped
- 1 bunch green onions - chopped
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 4 eggs - lightly beaten
- 1/2 lb. ricotta or cottage cheese
- 1 lb. crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper

Spanakotiropita (Photo Flickr Kerrie in Sydney)
1. Prepare the Pie/ Pita
2. Wash and drain the chopped spinach very well. If using frozen spinach, thaw completely and squeeze out excess water. Spinach should be dry.
3. Squeeze handfuls of spinach until all water is removed and put spinach in a mixing bowl. Add crumbled feta cheese. In a small pan, melt butter. Chop green onions and add to the butter, cooking a few minutes until fragrant. Add butter, onions, fresh dill and parsley, and salt and pepper to the bowl. Stir together 
everything with a fork. Add lightly beaten eggs and combine them into the mixture.

4. Brush a 9 x 13 pan with olive oil. Lay down a full sheet of phyllo. The edges should come up and over the sides. Brush with olive oil. Lay down another entire sheet and brush with olive oil. Now cut the sheets in half with kitchen sheers so they fit just the bottom of the pan. Continue to layer sheets of phyllo brushed with olive oil until you have 6 sheets.

5. Put spinach and cheese mixture in the pan and spread evenly. Layer with 4 more half sheets that completely cover the spinach. Brush each layer with olive oil. Use full sheets again for the top 2 layers and allow the edges to come up over the top of the pan. Carefully roll the edges that overlap the pan inwards to create a rolled edge of phyllo around the perimeter of the pie. Brush the entire top and edges with olive oil. With a sharp knife, make slits in the top of the pie to avoid bubbles when cooking.

6. preheat oven to 350'F/ 175'C. Lightly oil a 9x13 inch square baking pan.

7. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 40 minutes or until phyllo pastry is golden brown. Remove and cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Cut into squares and serve while hot.

You can serve it as it is or with yogurt aside and more herbs as you like.

The health benefits of eating spinach
The vibrant greenish spinach is one of the most beneficial edible plants for our consumption.

Spinach leaves and the whole plant - either eaten fresh or cooked (steamed, boiled, fried, either as a garnish or main meal) - have a high nutritional value and is very rich in:
- vitamins (A, beta-carotene, B2, B6, C, E, K), calcium, copper, folic acid, potassium - all with great result in case of high blood pressure, osteoporosis and atherosclerosis,
- antioxidants - lutein and zeaxanthin - which are protecting the eyes from age-related macular degeneration and cataracts,
- flavonoids - with anti-cancer properties (especially recommended in case of the prostate),
- protein and omega-3 fatty acids,
- iron, magnesium and manganese, niacin, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.

All in all, eating spinach our entire system will benefit and our general health will be improved - spinach heaving important effects for our skin, calcification and bones, immunity, brain and nerve function and... is perfect for diet!

Enjoy! Kali orexi!

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