April 07, 2012
Spinach, Chard and Feta Pie

Have you ever had one of those weeks when everything seems to be going wrong? Where the better part of you knows it really isn't so bad, but the other, bratty, petty, selfish part of you is just perpetually feeling sorry for... you?

Have you ever had one of those weeks where no matter what, you just did not know what to cook for 20 hungry people for lunch?

Oh! This is all about me, isn't it!? Sorry. 

Allow me to share how whenever feelings of petty misery arise, I go to the place I know best. The place of spinach pie with salty feta and flaky phyllo. The place of lemony, crispy potatoes. The place where tomatoes are drown in olive oil and oregano, and you, yourself, are drowning in Ouzo. 

The place I love and know best... Greece. A country that is currently experiencing some very real misery with no clear end in site. 

And on that note, happy egg hunting and matzoh ball throwing!


Spinach, Chard and Feta Pie
Spanakopita me Seskoula
(serves 12-14)

1 package of phyllo dough, thawed according to manufacturer's directions
3 bunches of scallions, or 1 large sweet onion
2 11 ounce packages of baby spinach
2 bunches of chard (any color)
1 pound of good feta, crumbled
2 eggs
1 bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350.

To make the filling:
Pour two good glugs of olive oil in a large skillet. Chop the scallions and add them to the skillet with a pinch of salt, sauteing over low heat. 
Wash the chard well, and chop the stems into 1/8" dice and add those to the scallions. Saute the scallions and the chard stems for about 5 minutes until they soften.
Coarsely chop the chard leaves and add those to the skillet. Add the dill and stir. Add as much spinach as the skillet will allow, and saute until it wilts and cooks down, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a colander set over a bowl, and then saute the remaining spinach with a bit of olive oil and salt until it wilts. Add it to the colander and press out as much liquid as you can. Spread mixture on layered paper towels or a kitchen towel and roll up to squeeze out even more liquid. Transfer to a large bowl. 
Add the 2 eggs and combine with the spinach mixture. Add the crumbled feta and toss to combine. Add the flour by sprinkling it over the mixture and gently mix to incorporate. 

Assembling the pie:

Have your phyllo open and ready to use by your baking sheet. (12"x16" or something equivalent.) Have a pastry brush and a bowl with about 3/4 cup of olive oil in it ready to brush on the phyllo.  (I also just use my hands instead of the pastry brush to brush the olive oil on.)
Brush olive oil on the baking sheet and place a sheet of phyllo on. Brush phyllo and repeat process until you have layered 8 sheets. 
Spread filling out on top of phyllo and then place a sheet of phyllo on top and brush with olive oil. Repeat until you have layered 12 sheets of phyllo. 
Tuck in the edges of the phyllo around the filling.
Using a sharp knife, gently cut the pie into 14-18 pieces.
Bake for about 40 minutes until the phyllo is a dark golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. This is best served at room temperature!




I think...
A Greek Cloud
Happy Thanksgiving