Food, Wine, Rock & Roll

Part food blog, part jam session

Spanakopita is a Greek pastry that is very similar to quiche.  While this is not a difficult recipe, it is quite time consuming and can be a bit frustrating if you have never worked with phyllo dough before.  It takes delicate hands and a great deal of patience but, like anything, the more you work with pyllo, the easier it becomes.  This is such a satisfying dish that it is completely worth the time it takes to make it.  If you have leftovers, warm it in the oven as opposed to the microwave because the microwave just makes it a bit soggy.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh spinach
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt & pepper
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 pound phyllo pastry sheets
  • Butter, melted (for brushing on the phyllo)

Preparation

Thaw phyllo dough (still rolled in the package) in refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours.

Wash spinach and discard stems; dry thoroughly.  Chop spinach into course pieces.

Saute onion in 4 tablespoons of butter until soft.  Add spinach and saute a few minutes longer.  Allow to cool.

Add cream sauce, eggs, cheese and seasonings.  Mix well.

Unroll thawed phyllo dough.  Place 7 layers of phyllo pastry sheets (these are very thin and tear easily.  Make sure your hands are dry and work slowly) in an 11×14 inch pan, brushing each sheet well with melted butter.  Add spinach mixture, then place 8 phyllo pastry sheets on filling.  Again, butter each sheet well.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Cut into small squares before serving.

Drinks

Because this dish is so delicate and light, most wines will overpower it.  However, I have found a Portuguese wine that is incredibly delicate which complements the Spanakopita very well.  Vinho Verde has a hint of lemon and just a bit of bubble (it’s not fully considered a sparkling wine; it’s “fizzy”) that makes it a great match to this delicate dish. Jose Maria da Fonseca [pictured] and Famega Wineries (both from Portugal) offer up beautiful versions of this cool “kinda fizzy” wine.

Music

Since working with the phyllo sheets can get a little frustrating and requires some  patience, I like to listen to music that helps me stay mellow and calm.  Music that is too frenetic just doesn’t seem to work well while making this dish.  For that reason, I turn to my #1 favorite band of all time, Pink Floyd.  I generally turn to two of Floyd’s later albums (A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell) to help create the necessary environment for the execution of Spanakopita.

One Response to “Spanakopita”

  1. Leo says:

    I tried this recipe, and it was great. Thank You for posting it, and also Great music selection.

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