Sharing Mountain Recipes
by Randi Lee Levin
I am thankful for the fabulous variety of traditional and cultural foods that are now available globally, to be enjoyed by all. For all who prefer a pinch of diversity in their choice of foods, this incredibly marvelous and rich Greek spinach pie provides one with the delicious opportunity to taste the cuisine of a foreign country right in your own home. Do not be intimidated by trying something new or by the list of ingredients and the procedure, for when it comes down to it, this dish is actually pretty simple to prepare and sure to impress all to whom it is served.
• Preheat oven to 300° F
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1/2 cup finely diced onions
• 1/4 cup finely diced scallions, including part of the green stems
• 2 pounds fresh spinach, washed, drained, stems removed and patted dry with paper towels
• 1 bunch (2 ounces) fresh dill, finely minced and measuring just over 2 tablespoons
• 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
• Pinch sea salt
• Fresh cracked pepper to taste
• Scant matovei cup milk or cream
• 8-10 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
• 4 eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 cup melted butter (no substitutes)
• 16 phyllo dough sheets, slightly thawed and stored covered in the refrigerator
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onions and scallions and saute about 6 minutes or until soft and tender. Stir the spinach into the onions and stir frequently for 5-7 minutes. Stir the dill, parsley and spice into the pan. Continue to stir constantly until most of the liquid has evaporated and the spinach has darkened in color. Remove the pan from the heat.
2. Pour the skillet vegetables into a large bowl, stir in the milk and allow this mixture to cool. Once cooled to room temperature (about 20 minutes), gently but thoroughly mix the beaten eggs and feta crumbles into the vegetables. Set aside.
3. Prepare a 12x7-inch pan by brushing the bottom and sides with some of the melted butter. Remove 8 phyllo sheets from the refrigerator. Keep them covered with a damp cloth while assembling the layers. Press one sheet into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Brush this sheet with melted butter, place another sheet on top and brush
with melted butter. Continue this layering and buttering until the 8 sheets have been added to the pan.
4. Pour and evenly spread the spinach mixture on top of the phyllo sheets and then pull the remaining sheets out of the refrigerator and repeat the layering and buttering process with the remaining sheets on top of the spinach.
5. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until the phyllo sheets are crisp and slightly browned, cut into squares and serve hot with a fresh bowl of fruit.