Spanakopita

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
500 g spinach frozen
1 pcs onions chopped
200 g feta cheese diced
1 pcs Egg
400 g filo pastry
150 ml Olive oil
1 tablespoon Salt

Spanakopita

Cuisine:

Spanakopita is such a popular dish in traditional Greek cuisine that it can be found in countless variations.

  • 70
  • Serves 8
  • Medium

Ingredients

Directions

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Spanakopita is such a popular dish in traditional Greek cuisine that it can be found in countless variations. It is very common on family dinner tables. You can find it in bakeries, local taverns and inns, and also on the menus of high-end restaurants.

What to Serve With Spanakopita

The dish is so popular in Greece that it is served hot or cold, as a snack or an appetizer. It can also be served as a light main course, often with a tzatziki dip. It can come as a baked casserole dish, as small triangular pies or even as rolls.

What Spanakopita Means

Spanakopita literally means spinach pie. It is a savoury pastry usually made of filo dough, spinach, onions and feta cheese. There are also horiatiki versions with a thicker crust which can be made from puff pastry.

There are fasting and vegan versions that are common during Lent or other religious fasts. Feta cheese and eggs are not included, but other vegetables such as leeks, parsley or celery are usually added.

Origin

Although similar pies existed in ancient times, it is believed to have originated in Turkish cuisine. During the time of Greek rule over the Ottoman Empire, many Turkish dishes became domesticated in Greek cuisine. Let’s just mention that there is a very similar dish in Turkish cuisine called ispanakli borek, but unlike spanakopita, it does not have cheese.

The cuisines of other Mediterranean and Balkan countries are familiar with similar dishes. In the Italian region of Liguria, especially during Easter, there is a Pasqualina cake. In Lebanon, there is Fatayer, a small pie that, in addition to cheese and spinach, also contains meat. Gibraltar also has its own version. In Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, a very similar dish is popular, known as zeljanica pie.

I got this recipe for spanakopita at a local tavern several years ago when I visited Thessaloniki.

Steps

1
Done

Heat olive oil in a shallow pan, and briefly sauté onion and spring onions until they are transparent.

2
Done

In a deep bowl mix the spinach, crumbled feta cheese, eggs and sautéed onions from the previous step. Add a tablespoon of salt and black pepper to taste and mix well.

3
Done

Coat the bottom of a baking pan with olive oil and lay 3 or 4 sheets of filo pastry on the bottom. On each side (as shown in the picture) put three more sheets to cover the filling later. Drizzle pastry sheets well with olive oil.

4
Done

Add spinach stuffing to the baking pan, and cover everything as shown.

5
Done

Crumple the rest of the filo sheets, spread over the top and drizzle with olive oil, like in the photo. Ideally, slice up the pie before baking it, as this makes it easier to serve fresh from the oven.

6
Done

Put it in the oven at 190 degrees C for 45-50 minutes until the crust is golden.

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