Spanokopita is a traditional Greek dish, derived from the Greek words for spinach and pie. Growing up, my mother loved to bake spanokopita especially for the many potlucks and foodie gatherings we hosted at our home.
She sent me the recipe she most regularly uses and for the first time, I prepared my own spankopita. Let me preface by saying this takes about 1-1/12 hours to prep, so leave ample time and be patient with that filo dough!
You Will Need:
- 2 cups crumbled feta cheese
- 2 Tbl. flour
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cup cottage cheese (or cream cheese, goat cheese)
- 2 lb. fresh spinach (or organic frozen which is just as good & quicker)
- 5 eggs (beat together first in small bowl)
- salt, freshly ground pepper
- 3 Tbl. butter
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- ¼ cup fresh dill or 2 Tbl. dried
- 1 pkg. defrosted filo pastry sheets
- 2 sticks butter (1/2 pound) or more melted
- Pastry brush
Wash, stem and chop spinach. Salt it lightly and cook adding no extra water, for 5 minutes. Once it’s finished cooking, be sure to drain the spinach of any excess water.
Cook onions in 3 tablespoons butter. When soft, combine with remaining ingredients including cooked spinach. Note: the 2 sticks of butter are for the filo pastry assemble.
Spread a little melted butter to coat a baking pan (lasagna pan). Place a filo sheet in pan, letting it fold up over the edges of the pan. Be sure that the filo is thawed if you buy it frozen. I used cottage cheese for this recipe but the goat cheese would make it thicker, and slightly more wet.
Brush generously with butter. Keep peeling layers of filo, laying them in the pan, then brushing each layer with melted butter. When you have 8 layers of filo leaves, spread on half of the filling. Continue with another stack of 8 filo sheets, brushing butter between each layer.
Apply remainder of filling. Fold excess filo down along edges to make corners. Pile as many more layers of filo and butter as you can fit.
On the top sheet, butter and then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake uncovered 375 degrees about 45 minutes until golden.