Crispy, flaky phyllo and delicious spinach and feta cheese filling makes this a favourite savoury pie to many, including myself! As a child, spanakopita was to me what candy is to most children! I couldn’t wait to be old enough to make it myself and to bring the same happiness it brought to me, to all whom I shared it with. Today, I make it often for my family and friends and it truly is a great feeling! This recipe uses homemade phyllo, however store bought phyllo is perfectly fine to use as well.
Ingredients For Phyllo:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups water (room temperature)
- approx. 1 cup olive oil, for brushing
Ingredients For Filling:
- 6 cups of spinach, chopped
- 2 cups of feta, crumbled
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1 small onion, grated
- 4 green shallots, chopped
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
Directions For Preparing Phyllo Dough:
In a large bowl incorporate the flour and salt. Create a well in the centre of the flour and add the oil and water. Using a wooden spoon mix the wet and dry ingredients until dough is formed. (Keep in mind that you can use a mixer for this process). Place your dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. If sticky, sprinkle with flour. Roll dough into a log shape and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten them down slightly to make what looks like thick pancakes. Brush the inner bottom of the same bowl we had previously used with oil and add one of the flats of dough. Generously Brush the top of the flat with oil and stack another flat over it repeating the oiling and stacking with the remaining of the dough flats. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour.
Directions For Preparing The Filling:
In a large bowl, mix the eggs, feta, ricotta, olive oil, dill, onion and shallots. Then add the spinach, salt and pepper and mix well.
Preparing The Phyllo And Assembling The Spanakopita:
You will need a clean, oiled surface to stretch the phyllo. Remove the first dough flat from the bowl and place on surface. Using a rolling pin begin to create your desired shape according to the shape of the pan that you will be using to bake the pita (circular or rectangular). Then using your hands gently pull and stretch the dough outward. Once fully stretched, place into an oiled pan and trim the excess phyllo. Continue making the sheets and layering the phyllo remembering to brush each sheet with oil. When you have 4 sheets in the pan add the spinach filling. Continue to layer the remaining 4 sheets, brushing each with oil and trimming excess phyllo. Then bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until golden. Cut into wedges and serve!