November 22, 2009

Knowledge is the food of the soul.

Some purists firmly claim they should be called spanakopitakia.

Having made too many of these classic, delicate Greek fingerlings one day I felt obliged to share. Although spanakopita (σπανακόπιτα) prep is time consuming, once done, you can hide a bag of these delectable deltas in the freezer. When you yearn a last minute or midnight meal, simply brush them with melted butter and slip them in the oven.


2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 medium shallots, peeled and minced
1 lb fresh spinach, washed, drained, well dried and coarsely chopped
2 T fresh mint, coarsely chopped
2 C feta cheese
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, beaten, at room temperature

16 sheets phyllo dough, thawed if frozen

8 T unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 F

Heat olive oil in heavy skillet over moderate heat, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until transluscent. Then cook the spinach, stirring, until wilted and tender, usually about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat and cool, about 10 minutes. Squeeze spinach to remove as much liquid as possible, drain, dry, then coarsely chop. Transfer to a bowl and stir in mint, feta, nutmeg, salt and pepper and then incorporate the beaten egg.

Melt 1 stick of butter in a small saucepan, then cool to room temperature and set aside.

Cover phyllo stack with a dampened tea towel.

Gingerly peel one phyllo sheet from stack, arrange on a work surface long ways and brush with some butter down the length of the sheet on one side. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling at end closest to you, and then fold sheet in half lengthwise. Begin folding into triangle (like a flag) brushing with butter after each fold.

Put triangle, seam side down, on a large baking sheet and brush top with butter. Repeat in the same manner, using all of phyllo.

Bake triangles in middle of oven until golden brown, 15-20 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool slightly.

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