spanakopita

Passover Spinach Pie

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I can't imagine Passover without this dish. Spinach pie which, during the year I top with buttered phyllo sheets and sometimes with puff pastry, depending on the occasion.

On Passover it gets a matzo crust -- like this one, ready for the oven.

It's a versatile dish too. You can make it plain or add mushrooms or make it with cheese. You can also switch to kale or other greens if you prefer.

Nice for a meatless dinner too.

 

SPINACH PIE with MATZO CRUST

  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen whole leaf spinach, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cut up mushrooms, optional
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled, optional
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 sheets matzo

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the mushrooms, if used, and cook, stirring often, for another 2-3 minutes or until the mushrooms are softened. Stir in the spinach and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat. For dairy, add the feta and Parmesan cheeses and mix them in. Add 3 of the eggs, the dill, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and place in a baking dish. Soak the matzo in cold water to cover for 1-2 minutes or until softened but not mushy. Shake off excess water. Place the matzo on top of the spinach mixture. Beat the remaining egg and brush over the top of the matzot. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 4-8 servings (as main course or side dish)

Spinach Feta Cheese Pie

Several couples I know, fellow food-bloggers, have recently had babies, one just a day or so before Mother’s Day. I’m sure their families and the friends who live close by to them will lend a hand. Life is always so hectic and emotional after a baby is born and new moms and dads can always use extra help.  In our family we have tried to anticipate a birth by a few weeks and get together to cook foods that can be packed into containers and stored in the freezer, so that cooking dinner won’t be another something to do during the first week or so after the baby is born when everyone is tired.  We’ve made  carrot soup  and something we call  "green soup"  because most of the time — but not all — we use dried green split peas and the liquid part looks sort of green. We’ve cooked  baked ziti  and our famous, family, tried-and-true  butter cookies . And more.  But the favorite is always Spinach Pie. We make a dairy version with feta cheese and a non-dairy version using sauteed mushrooms. This dish freezes well, it’s easy to defrost and pop into the oven (we freeze the pies before baking them). Spinach pie is suitable for lunch or dinner or even as a side dish.  If someone in your life has had a baby recently, why not give them a break and cook some food for them?  Here’s the family Spinach Pie recipe, dairy version:        SPINACH FETA CHEESE PIE      2 10-ounce packages frozen whole leaf spinach, thawed  2 tablespoons olive oil  1 medium onion, chopped  3 large eggs  8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled  6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese  1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill  freshly ground black pepper to taste  4 sheets phyllo dough  2 tablespoons butter, melted  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the spinach and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the eggs, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, dill and pepper. Mix well and place in a baking dish. Top with 4 layers of phyllo dough each brushed with melted butter. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Makes 4-8 servings (as main course or side dish)

Several couples I know, fellow food-bloggers, have recently had babies, one just a day or so before Mother’s Day. I’m sure their families and the friends who live close by to them will lend a hand. Life is always so hectic and emotional after a baby is born and new moms and dads can always use extra help.

In our family we have tried to anticipate a birth by a few weeks and get together to cook foods that can be packed into containers and stored in the freezer, so that cooking dinner won’t be another something to do during the first week or so after the baby is born when everyone is tired.

We’ve made carrot soup and something we call "green soup" because most of the time — but not all — we use dried green split peas and the liquid part looks sort of green. We’ve cooked baked ziti and our famous, family, tried-and-true butter cookies. And more.

But the favorite is always Spinach Pie. We make a dairy version with feta cheese and a non-dairy version using sauteed mushrooms. This dish freezes well, it’s easy to defrost and pop into the oven (we freeze the pies before baking them). Spinach pie is suitable for lunch or dinner or even as a side dish.

If someone in your life has had a baby recently, why not give them a break and cook some food for them?

Here’s the family Spinach Pie recipe, dairy version:  

 

SPINACH FETA CHEESE PIE

 

2 10-ounce packages frozen whole leaf spinach, thawed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 large eggs

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 sheets phyllo dough

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the spinach and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the eggs, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, dill and pepper. Mix well and place in a baking dish. Top with 4 layers of phyllo dough each brushed with melted butter. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 4-8 servings (as main course or side dish)

Spanakopitas

There’s more to Purim food than Hamantashen. Although I must confess that Hamantashen is among one of my favorite “cookies.”

But consider why we eat them. Hamantashen are triangles, meant to remind us of the hat our enemy Haman wore as he tried to annihilate the Jews.

We eat the “hat” to rid ourselves and the world of this man and his evil ways.

So really, any triangular food will do. Kreplach is also popular.

But I’m going to vote for Spanakopitas. Spinach-filled, phyllo dough pastries that you can make large, for dinner, or small, as hors d’oeuvre. These are absolutely wonderful and freezable — make a bunch and keep them (well wrapped) for months to eat well past Purim.

Spanakopitas

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 large egg

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons minced fresh dill

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 pound phyllo dough, approximately

4-6 tablespoons butter, melted, approximately

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the spinach and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the egg, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, dill and pepper and mix well. Cut the phyllo leaves into strips about 1-3/4 inches wide. Working with one or as many as 4 strips at a time, brush the strips with a film of melted butter. Put a small amount of filling at the bottom of each strip. Fold the strips diagonally so that the short edge meets the long edge and covers the filling. Continue folding into triangle shapes as you would a flag. Place the triangle on a cookie sheet. Brush with more melted butter. Bake for about 18 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 30-36 pieces

 

Crustless Spinach Pie

I have a cousin who won’t eat any green food. So he’s never tasted guacamole or creamed spinach or pea soup. 
 Me? I eat almost anything, but as I mentioned the other day, I don’t like  fake  green food. Which is what a lot of people eat on St. Patrick’s Day. 
 I say, if you want to eat green tomorrow, why not make it real? Like Spinach Pie. 
 This is a dish I make all the time. My kids love it. Even their kids love it. Most of the time I put a crust on top. Either the typical Greek way, using buttered phyllo dough sheets, or as I do if I’m in a hurry — topped with thawed out frozen puff pastry. 
 On Passover I make Spinach Pie with soaked matzo on top. 
 That’s how versatile this dish is. If you have my book,  Hip Kosher , you’ll find it there. But here it is for everyone else: 
 Spinach Pie 
 2 10-ounce packages frozen whole leaf spinach, thawed 
 2 tablespoons olive oil 
 1 medium onion, chopped 
 3 large eggs 
 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled 
 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 
 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill 
 freshly ground black pepper to taste 
 4 sheets phyllo dough 
 2 tablespoons butter, melted 
 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the spinach and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the eggs, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, dill and pepper. Mix well and place in a baking dish. Top with 4 layers of phyllo dough each brushed with melted butter (or leave off the phyllo dough top). Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 4-8 servings (as main course or side dish)

I have a cousin who won’t eat any green food. So he’s never tasted guacamole or creamed spinach or pea soup.

Me? I eat almost anything, but as I mentioned the other day, I don’t like fake green food. Which is what a lot of people eat on St. Patrick’s Day.

I say, if you want to eat green tomorrow, why not make it real? Like Spinach Pie.

This is a dish I make all the time. My kids love it. Even their kids love it. Most of the time I put a crust on top. Either the typical Greek way, using buttered phyllo dough sheets, or as I do if I’m in a hurry — topped with thawed out frozen puff pastry.

On Passover I make Spinach Pie with soaked matzo on top.

That’s how versatile this dish is. If you have my book, Hip Kosher, you’ll find it there. But here it is for everyone else:

Spinach Pie

2 10-ounce packages frozen whole leaf spinach, thawed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 large eggs

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 sheets phyllo dough

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the spinach and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the eggs, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, dill and pepper. Mix well and place in a baking dish. Top with 4 layers of phyllo dough each brushed with melted butter (or leave off the phyllo dough top). Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 4-8 servings (as main course or side dish)