Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Spanakopitas, Luncheon Style

We love spanakopitas as an appetizer. It's easy to make and can be made ahead and served at room temperature. It always gets rave reviews even from non spinach lovers.

In my latest cookbook, Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics, is a recipe for dinner size spanakopitas.

It wasn't dinner, but rather company for lunch and it seemed a good vegetarian choice for a ladies luncheon. To serve with? A Greek salad of course -- with the last of the garden tomatoes, olives and sprinkles of Feta and pine nuts. Tossed with olive oil and wine vinegar.

Since there were only four of us, I cut the recipe in half and it made four perfect spanakopita triangles.

Dinner Spanakopitas
(Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics)

1/4 cup good olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3 scallions, whole and green parts, chopped
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
4 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
3 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Plain dry bread crumbs
1 t. grated nutmeg
2 t. kosher salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 cups small diced feta cheese (12 ounces)
3 T. toasted pine nuts
24 sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted
1/4 pound unsalted butter, melted
Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan, add he onion, and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Add the scallions and cook for another 2 minutes until the scallions are wilted but still green. Meanwhile gently squeeze most of the water out of the spinach and place it in a large bowl.

When the onion and scallions are done, add them to the spinach. Mix in the eggs, Parmesean cheese, 1 T. bread crumbs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Gently fold in the feta and pine nuts.

Place one sheet of phyllo dough flat on a work surface with the long end in front of you. Brush the dough lightly with butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Pile 4 layers total on top of each other this way, brushing each with butter and sprinkling with bread crumbs. Cut the sheets of phyllo in half lengthwise. Place 1/3 cup of spinach mixture on the shorter end and roll the phyllo up diagonally as if folding a flag. Then fold the triangle of phyllo over straight and then diagonally again. Continue folding diagonally and then straight until you reach the end of the sheet. The filling should be totally enclosed. Continue assembling phyllo layers and folding the filling until all of the filling is used. Place on a sheet pan, seam side down. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with flaked salt and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the phyllo is browned and crisp. Serve hot.

1 comment:

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a great idea! It's hard to go wrong with one of Ina's recipes. This looks delicious.