Spanakopita


A delicious Greek appetizer perfect for any occasion! I learned how to make this from my mother who learned from her mother. The secret is in the homemade phyllo dough which is a lot easier to make than you would think. Prepare the dough ahead of time for best results.

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Ingredients (filling)
500g 4% cottage cheese
2 cups of feta cheese
1 egg
1 package spinach
1 leek
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil

Ingredients (dough)
4 cups flour
1 cup water + additional 1/4 to 1/2 cup
1 tsp salt
1/8 cup vegetable oil
Additional flour to open phyllo pastry

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the flour and add the oil and some water. Knead the dough and continue adding water until the dough becomes elastic. Place in greased bowl and let it rest 24 hours. Add oil into a pot. Coarsely chop the spinach and add into the pot. While the spinach is wilting, slice the leek into thin slices. In a bowl mix the cottage cheese, crumbled feta, egg, sliced leek, and salt. Add the spinach trying to remove as much of the moisture as possible.

Lightly grease your baking pan (it is best to use an aluminum pan like a pizza pan). To prepare your phyllo pastry, ensure your space is clean of obstacles and dust the surface with flour. Cut a 2”x2” piece of dough and use your hands to flatten to a disc shape. Dust surface with flour and roll out as thin as possible. (Don’t worry about it not being too thin. When you place the rolled phyllo into the pan, you can slightly pull and extend it, which makes it thinner.)

Once your dough is rolled out, use a spoon to drop the filling in random areas of the phyllo. You do not need to spread the filling everywhere, just make sure that a good portion of the area is covered, leaving a 1” border all around. Taking the corner closest to you, pull up the phyllo and fold over about 1 1/2” into the pastry. Continue folding until there is no dough left. Lift the corners and place into the pan. Continue until all the pan is filled. Cook for 1 hour until golden brown. Cut into 2” bite size pieces.

Note: The recipe for dough above will make more dough than is needed, however, any dough remaining can be frozen and used another time.

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