Before I get to this divine recipe, I have to take a moment to say thank you. If you visit my blog with any regularity, you'll probably notice that it's looking quite different than the last time you were here. One of my goals for this year was to learn enough about web design to be able to spruce up my blog (I appreciate blogger's templates but I am ready to move beyond them). It's a doable goal, but it'll definitely take some time. Fortunately, someone else stepped in to help me in the meantime! Shane's cousin, Kieran, volunteered to help me out with a new design and the amazing template you see is entirely thanks to him! I envy his creativity and talent. Thanks again Kieran for all of your help! Now, if only some of your photography skills could rub off on me :)
I love spanakopita. It reminds me of weddings because I'm pretty sure that's the only place I've ever had it. I've been wanting to try to make it for quite some time but I always chicken out because I'm still a bit nervous about working with phyllo. This past weekend I finally decided to give it a shot. I was the only one eating them so I figured if they were a complete disaster at least I wouldn't be inflicting them on company. And on the plus side, if they turned out well they'd be a great appetizer to serve the next time we have company!
I decided to adapt just slightly a very basic spanakopita recipe from my Weight Watchers cookbook. The original recipe called for just the egg white and also included scallions and dill. I decided to use the whole egg and added nutmeg instead of dill. I didn't have scallions on hand so those were left out too. In the end, one of the best things about this recipe is how forgiving it is. My phyllo was not cooperative and I wound up using several sheets with big holes/tears in them. Luckily, in the process of folding the phyllo up like flags, the holes became a non-issue. I couldn't wait to try one when they came out of the oven and I was not disappointed! These were wonderful! The phyllo was so flaky and the filling was perfect! I think the only change I'd make next time is to dust the folded triangles with some parmesan cheese before baking them.
adapted from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook by Weight Watchers
1 10-oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 (12 x 17) sheets phyllo dough, room temperature
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Press the spinach between layers of paper towels to remove any excess moisture (if the spinach is too wet the phyllo will be soggy). In a medium bowl, mash the cheese with a fork. Add the spinach, egg, pepper and nutmeg; stir together until combined.
Set the stack of phyllo sheets to one side; keep covered with a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap and a damp towel on top as you work. Lay 1 phyllo sheet lengthwise on your work surface and brush the sheet lightly with the olive oil. Top with another sheet and brush lightly with oil. Cut crosswise into 4 even strips. Place a scant tablespoon of the spinach mixture at the end of each strip. Fold one corner up over the filling, then continue folding in a flag fashion, to form a triangle.
Place the folded triangle on the baking sheet and repeat the process with the remaining phyllo sheets to make 16 triangles. (I kept the folded triangles on the baking sheet covered while I assembled the remaining triangles.) Brush the tops of the triangles lightly with any remaining oil.
Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. The spanakopita can be baked up to 3 hours in advance and then reheated in a 375 F oven until crisp, about 8 minutes.