Leafy greens are full of important nutrients like folate, iron, and vitamin K, and their consumption has been demonstrated to be beneficial to human health in a number of ways. Consumption of leafy green and cruciferous vegetables has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
This week’s recipe highlights the green leafy goodness of spinach in a delicious Greek pie known as spanakopita.
This week’s recipe was sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She has been sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spinach Pie (Spanakopita)
- 3 pounds fresh spinach (for convenience, you can buy packaged prewashed and dried baby spinach leaves)
- 2 bunches green onions, finely chopped
- ½ cup minced parsley
- ½ teaspoon fresh dill weed, minced
- 1 pound crumbled feta cheese (French feta made with sheep’s milk is not as salty as feta made from cow’s milk and has a creamier consistency)
- 8 eggs, beaten
- Olive oil
- ½ pound filo dough leaves (filo dough dries out easily after being removed from the sealed packaging so use it quickly and/or cover it with a damp towel)
- 1 cup melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash the spinach, cut off the stems, dry completely with towels, and chop. (Note: This step can be skipped if packaged prewashed and dried baby spinach is used.) Brown the scallions in ½ cup olive oil until tender. Combine spinach, parsley, dill weed, beaten eggs, and feta in a large bowl; add cooked scallions. Season lightly with salt and mix well. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish and line with 5 of the filo sheets, brushing each sheet with the melted butter combined with ½ cup olive oil. (Note: The sheets will need to be folded in half to fit into the baking dish, brushing the first half with butter/olive oil before folding.) Spread the spinach mixture on the buttered/oiled filo and top with the remaining sheets, brushing each with butter/olive oil. Brush the top sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.
Spanakopeta (or spanakopita) can be eaten hot, cold, or at room temperature (and be frozen for later). It can be served as an appetizer, a vegetable side dish, or a meatless main dish (with a salad or artichokes and rice).