Monday is May Day, another celebration of Spring. I know I’m really pushing this Spring thing. The idea of May Day is believed to have begun with the agricultural rituals of the Greeks and Romans. So in honor of May Day I’m making one of my favorite Greek dishes, Spanakopita or Greek spinach pie.
It just so happened that I had some leftover phyllo dough from a recipe I was working on. I hate to waste so it’s funny that everything fell in place to make this dish since I typically would not have phyllo dough in the house. But it seems as though as box of phyllo dough goes a long way.
One of the May Day tradition I remember from my childhood is layering ribbon around a pole. In this case I’ll be using phyllo dough to layer a delicious spinach pie.
I have to admit, it’s also a great way to get everyone to eat their vegetables. It’s a great vegetarian dish.
Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)
- 8 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 1 large yellow onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 1/2 pounds of chopped spinach
- 4 eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 2 tablespoons mint (chopped)
- 1 bunch of parsley (chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 pound phyllo dough (thawed)
Tools: 9 inch baking pan, pastry brush and colander
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brush butter into a 9inch square baking pan.
Sauté onions in a pan over medium heat and add garlic.
Add spinach to onions 1 cup at a time.
Drain spinach, onion, and garlic mixture using a strainer or a colander. Press to remove all of the water.
Beat 4 eggs in separate bowl. Combine the spinach mixture, cheese, nutmeg, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, and egg.
Line baking dish with two sheets of phyllo dough allowing dough to cover the sides of the dish.
Brush phyllo with butter then add two more sheets of phyllo dough.
Evenly spread spinach mixture over phyllo dough.
Top with two more sheets of phyllo dough and brush with butter.
Continue to layer two sheets of phyllo dough, butter, spinach in that order until you’ve used all of the phyllo dough and spinach mixture.
Brush the very top layer of phyllo with butter and fold excess phyllo dough from the sides onto the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until phyllo dough is crisp and golden brown.
Remove from oven and cut into squares.
Enjoy your spanakopita and happy Spring.