Spanakopita is a mouthwatering Greek pastry that combines flaky phyllo dough with a savoury filling of spinach and feta cheese. This popular dish is known for its rich flavours and delightful textures. In this recipe, we will guide you through the process of making spanakopita from scratch, ensuring a crispy crust and a deliciously cheesy spinach filling.
To make spanakopita, you will need the following ingredients:
1 pound (450g) fresh spinach, washed and chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
8-10 sheets of phyllo dough
½ cup melted butter or olive oil for brushing
Follow these simple steps to prepare and assemble your spanakopita:
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until they become translucent and fragrant.
Add the chopped spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
Once the spinach mixture has cooled, transfer it to a mixing bowl. Add the crumbled feta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped dill, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly combined.
Brush a baking dish or a rectangular pan with melted butter or olive oil to prevent sticking.
Layer the phyllo dough sheets in the baking dish, brushing each sheet lightly with melted butter or olive oil before adding the next one. Ensure that the edges of the phyllo dough hang over the sides of the pan.
Spread the spinach and cheese mixture evenly over the phyllo dough.
Fold the overhanging phyllo dough over the filling to enclose it completely. Brush the top with more melted butter or olive oil.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the spanakopita turns golden brown and crispy.
Once baked, remove the spanakopita from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before cutting into squares or triangles.
Serve warm or at room temperature as an appetizer or a main course.
Spanakopita A Greek Delicacy
Spanakopita is a traditional Greek dish that features a delightful combination of spinach, feta cheese, onions, herbs, and phyllo dough. It is typically served as an appetizer or a main course and is loved for its crispy crust and flavourful filling. Not only is spanakopita a crowd-pleaser, but it also offers several health benefits.
Cheesy Rice and Chicken of Minute Rice
If you’re looking for a quick and tasty meal, look no further than the cheesy rice and chicken recipe from Minute Rice. This delicious dish combines tender chicken, fluffy rice, and gooey cheese to create a satisfying and flavourful experience.
The convenience of Minute Rice makes it a great choice for busy individuals who still want to enjoy a homemade meal. You can find the full recipe for cheesy rice and chicken here: cheesy rice and chicken of Minuterice
Health Benefits of Spanakopita
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Spinach, the main ingredient in spanakopita, is packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium. These nutrients support overall health and well-being.
Good Source of Fibre: The spinach in spanakopita is high in dietary fibre, which aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy digestive system.
Bone Health: The combination of spinach and feta cheese provides a good dose of calcium and vitamin K, which are essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones.
Secrets to Perfect Spanakopita
Properly Squeeze the Spinach: After cooking the spinach, it’s crucial to squeeze out any excess moisture. This step ensures that the filling stays firm and prevents the phyllo dough from becoming soggy.
Layer the Phyllo Sheets: When working with phyllo dough, it’s essential to brush each sheet with melted butter or olive oil before layering them. This creates a golden and crispy texture.
Use Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs, such as dill and parsley, add a burst of flavour to the spanakopita. Chop them finely and mix them into the filling for an aromatic touch.
Serving and Storing Spanakopita
Spanakopita is best served warm or at room temperature. It can be enjoyed as an appetizer, a side dish, or even as a main course. Here are a few serving suggestions:
Greek Salad: Serve spanakopita alongside a refreshing Greek salad for a complete and satisfying meal. The crispness of the salad complements the rich flavors of the pastry.
Tzatziki Sauce: A dollop of homemade tzatziki sauce on top of spanakopita adds a creamy and tangy element to the dish. The coolness of the sauce balances the warm and flaky pastry.
Preserving Spanakopita: If you have leftovers, it’s essential to store spanakopita properly to maintain its freshness. Place the cooled pastries in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. To reheat, simply place them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes until they are heated through and the phyllo dough becomes crispy again.
Spanakopita is a delightful Greek pastry that brings together the flavours of spinach, feta cheese, and herbs in a crispy phyllo dough crust. Its health benefits, including being rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre, make it a delicious and nutritious choice.
By following the secrets to perfect spanakopita, experimenting with variations, and serving it alongside accompaniments like Greek salad and tzatziki sauce, you can create a memorable and satisfying meal.
Whether you’re hosting a gathering or simply craving a taste of Greece, spanakopita is sure to impress your taste buds. So, roll up your sleeves, get your ingredients ready, and enjoy the process of making this scrumptious Greek delicacy!