One of my favorite appetizers to make, and one that is most requested by my family is the Greek Spanakopita. Spanakopita is a delicious mixture of spinach and cheeses, folded into a phyllo dough triangle. It's so buttery, flaky and yummy, but incredibly time consuming to make, so I only make it once or twice a year!
Here's my step by step guide to making delicious Spanakopita!
You Will Need...
2 pkgs. chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
1 cup crumbled Feta Cheese
8 oz Ricotta Cheese
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup melted butter
1 pkg, Phyllo dough
First things first- make sure your spinach is thawed out. You will need to completely drain the excess water from the spinach, and the best method is by hand.
Your spinach should look like this before draining the water...
...and look like this after you squeeze the water out!
Pre-heat the oven to 350, and line cookie sheets with foil to make for easy clean up.
Have all of your ingredients ready to go...
Three types of chesse and spinach... yummy!!
Add the Ricotta to the spinach....
...and then add the Feta.
Next, add the parmesan...
...and then add one egg.
Mix together (by hand is best) until your mxture looks like this.
Melt the butter and keep it nearby, as well as a pastry brush.
Working with Phyllo dough is incredibly tricky and can be frustrating! The best method is to roll it out a little bit at a time, and keep any part of the dough that is exposed, covered with a damp cloth or paper towel. If the dough dries out, it will crumble, and you won't be able to work with it.
Roll out small sections of the Phyllo dough...
...and remember to keep it covered!
Cut dough into 1 1/2 inch strips and immediately brush the top layer with the melted butter.
Place a spoonful of the spinach mixture at the base of the strip of dough.
Pinch 5 or 6 thin layers of dough together, and immeditaely fold one corner over- to the right.
Continue to fold the dough and mixture over- right to left, and repeat the process, working upward, until you run out of dough and have formed a triangle.
Fold excess dough over and immediately brush the triangle with butter to keep it from drying out.
It took me about 45 minutes to complete 1 tray of triangles.
Bake the triangles at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until they are golden brown to your liking.
You may periodically want to brush them with more melted butter.
When these babies are done, they are flaky, buttery and delicious!
You can store these in an air tight container in the fridge for about five days. I like to make these ahead of time, and they are best served warm. Do be sure to brush them with butter again before reheating in the oven. These are not worth re-heating in the microwave, and I wouldn't advise eating them cold. They're best warm, right out of the oven.
There are so many different Spanakopita variations, and this is my version. I was paid a very nice compliment by a true Greek couple a few years ago, who said they were as close to the authentic treat they grew up with as they could remember.
Have you ever made Spanakopita? They're definitely worth a try! These would be great to serve if you're hosting friends or headed to parties for the playoffs and the Super Bowl... and then there's basketball season!