Spanakopita….Phyllo Perfection.

Spanakopita

I’m pretty much under the belief that you can wrap anything in buttery, flaky phyllo dough and it would be delicious.

Meat, veggies, fruit….a leather shoe. Whatever you can grab.

Spanakopita

Now Spanakopita is on a whole different level. Suprisingly “simple” but utterly perfect. Crispy layers of phyllo stuffed with spinach, feta, onions, and spices…..Yum. I’ve even added mushrooms or sundried tomatoes to the party depending on my mood.

The key to working with phyllo is to cover the sheets with damp paper towels during assembly so that the sheets do not dry out or break. And you just can’t skimp out on the butter either. But why would you? :)

Formed as full-sized triangles as entrees or smaller bites for appetizers—-either way, your tummy will love you.

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Spanakopita

¼ Cup Olive Oil
1 Cup Chopped Yellow Onions
3 Scallions, chopped
2 (10 ounce) Packages Frozen Chopped Spinach, defrosted
4 Eggs, lightly beaten
3 Tablespoons Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
Plain Dry Bread Crumbs
1 Teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
2 Cups Feta Cheese, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons Toasted Pine Nuts
24 Sheets Frozen Phyllo Dough, defrosted
½ Cup Unsalted Butter, melted
Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the scallions and cook for another 2 minutes until the scallions are wilted but still green. Meanwhile, gently squeeze most of the water out of the spinach and place it in a large bowl.

When the onion and scallions are done, add them to the spinach. Mix in the eggs, Parmesan cheese, 3 tbsp. breadcrumbs, the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Gently fold in the feta and pine nuts.

Place one sheet of phyllo dough flat on a work surface with the long end in front of you. Brush the sheet lightly with butter and sprinkle it with a teaspoon of bread crumbs. Working quickly, slide another sheet of phyllo dough on top of the first, brush with butter, and sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs. (Use just enough bread crumbs so the layers of phyllo don’t stick together.) Pile 4 layers on top of each other this way brushing each with butter and sprinkling each with bread crumbs.

Cut the sheets of phyllo in thirds lengthwise. Place 1/3 cup spinach filling on the shorter end and roll the phyllo up diagonally as if folding a flag. They fold the triangle of phyllo over straight and then diagonally again. Continue folding first diagonally and then straight until you reach the end of the sheet. The filling should be totally enclosed. Continue assembling phyllo layers and folding the filling until all of the filling (or all of the phyllo) is used.    Place on a sheet pan, seam sides down.   Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with flaked salt, and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until the phyllo is browned and crisp.

From Ina Garten, Back to Basics

Refreshing Greek Salad…..Opa!

Greek Salad

It’s been unusually warm these past few weeks — not your typical fall weather at all. Not that I’m really complaining but it does make me turn to lighter dishes instead of slaving away in a hot kitchen.

The other day I picked up a bunch of produce at my weekly farmer’s market and decided to make a refreshing Greek Salad for lunch.

Greek Salad

The salad is full of bright flavors from the fresh veggies, feta and the olives. Delish! And the leftovers were the perfect accompaniment to the Spanakopita I made the next day.

Up next, flaky and buttery Spanakopita!

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Greek Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients:

3 Cups Cucumbers, diced
2 Cups Grape Tomatoes, diced
2/3 Cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and chopped
½ Small Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 Cup Feta Cheese, cubed or crumbled
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
½ Cup Quality Olive Oil
¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 Garlic Clove, finely minced
¼ Teaspoon Dried Oregano
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, garlic, and oregano. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle dressing over salad, and toss to coat.