Spanakopita Squares

This has been an exceptionally busy week, and while I’ve had time to cook dinner nearly every night, I’ve had absolutely no time to write about the food! So, I have quite a backlog. My week began with roast beef and baked macaroni and cheese. My photos were awful, however, so neither will make it as a post this go-round. Thankfully, I got lucky with my next venture – spanakopita. If ever two foods had a natural affinity for each other, it is spinach and cheese, my personal favorite being spinach and feta.  Many of the foods I blog about intertwine with personal stories, and this is no different.

The first time I ate spanakopita was in 1994, while in graduate school at LSU.  There was a tiny little Mediterranean restaurant just off campus that some friends had already visited, but I had not.  They raved over nearly everything they had eaten, and I couldn’t wait to go myself.  Up to that point, my food experiences had mostly been Sicilian, Cajun, Creole, and just basic southern fare.  The menu was somewhat of a mystery, as none of it resembled anything I had ever eaten, but the descriptions all sounded delicious.  I wanted to try everything!  A friend suggested the mezze platter, so I could get a taste of nearly the entire menu; the platter contained hummus, baba ghanoush, stuffed grape leaves, tzatziki, and spanakopita.  I was enamored!  How had I never eaten any of this before and how could I make this myself?  While I continued to frequent the restaurant throughout graduate school, I’m embarassed to say that it was years later before I attempted to make any of it.  I’m searching my mind for a good explanation, but, nope, I’ve got nothing.  In fact, it was 12 years before I made it myself in 2006, when my friend Melissa demonstrated her recipe at a library cooking program.  She effortlessly buttered, layered, and filled phyllo, and then folded it into neat little triangles.  I couldn’t wait to try it myself.  Since then, I’ve made spanakopita countless times, and it’s always a hit.  This is my version of the original recipe.

Spanakopita Printable recipe
2 10 oz boxes frozen, chopped spinach, defrosted
1 9 oz box frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted
1 cup leeks, cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
2 teaspoons garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons dill, chopped
8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb of phyllo sheets
Salt & pepper to taste

Defrost spinach and using a towel, wring out as much water as possible
Prehat oven to 350 degrees
In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat
Add artichoke hearts, leeks, green onions, and garlic to butter/oil mixture, saute for 5-8 minutes and add spinach and dill
Continue to cook, until mixture looks dry, about 15 minutes
Remove from heat, add feta, and stir to combine
Taste for seasoning, and add salt & pepper; set aside

Using a 13×9 pan, place one sheet of phyllo in pan, brush with melted butter
Repeat until you have a total of 10 sheets of phyllo
Carefully spoon in the spinach filling
Place a sheet of phyllo on top of the spinach, brush with melted butter
Repeat until you have 10 sheets of phyllo
Using a sharp knife, slice into squares
Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees
Remove from oven, and let cool for 30 minutes, or until you can easily remove the squares
Serve with tzatziki, if desired

Linked to Recipe of the Week: Appetizers


One thought on “Spanakopita Squares

  1. Pingback: Better Cheddar, my way | Louanne's Kitchen

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