Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pita me Spanaki kai Anitho--Spinach and Dill Pie

I'm in the midst of a big baking project--let's just say it's a multi-tiered cake that will feed 100--but I wanted to quickly share this recipe with you before I completely drown in gum paste, fondant icing and buttercream frosting.

In the mood to bake a pita (savory pie) the other day, I put together this lighter version of spanakopita or spinach pie. Usually, a spanakopita includes lots of Feta (or any somewhat soft cheese similar to it) but as I was fresh out of Feta and I in no way intended to leave the house again to shop for any, I decided to work with what I did have on hand.

And that's how this pita came to be--nothing immensely innovative, just a tasty and healthy pie that everyone young and old (at least in this household) can enjoy. Packed with spinach and fresh dill, a little parsley and a sprinkling of grated Pecorino Romano, this pie makes for a refreshingly light lunch along with a small salad and some tart olives.

Oh, and I am not going to lie: I used frozen phyllo dough. I have yet to attempt to roll out my own. I did say I was in the middle of a huge baking project, right? Excuses, excuses ...

Pita me Spanaki kai Anitho--Spinach and Dill Pie
Makes a 13x9-inch pie

1/2 cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 scallions (white and green parts), chopped
1 bunch dill, chopped
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
20 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained of some liquid or 2 to 3 bunches fresh spinach, trimmed and washed
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
3 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
16 sheets of phyllo dough

Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the onion and scallions until just soft. Stir in the dill, parsley and spinach and heat through; remove from heat.

Oil a 13x9-inch baking dish and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add the grated cheese to the spinach and dill mixture; then add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Season generously with salt and pepper and set aside.

Begin layering 10 sheets of phyllo along the bottom of the dish, using the remaining olive oil to brush each sheet generously with oil. Spoon the filling evenly over the bottom phyllo layers and then begin layering the remaining 6 sheets of phyllo over top, brushing each sheet with oil. Pinch the edges of the top and bottom sheets together.

Bake the pie until the phyllo is golden , about 45 minutes to an hour. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.


Peter G said...

Maria, I have a confession to make! I much prefer these versions of pita...i find them lighter and better for a light lunch...the dill makes it for me!

Ivy said...

Lovely pita Maria. I can eat any kind of spanakopita and there's no need to apologize for using ready made phyllo. I'm going to post a vegan spanakopita soon.

Hopie said...

Mmmm I love spanakopita and this version with dill looks delicious!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

you don't need to make your own filo pastry to make a delicious green pie
(and your does look absolutely mouth-wateringly tempting)

Ali said...

It's funny that you consider using frozen phyllo as cheating ... that's hard core!! This spanakopita looks incredible!


♥Rosie♥ said...

Maria, wow you are in a big baking project and I do hope you will be sharing the outcome with us.

Your spanakopita looks absolutely wonderful. I did read once that chefs learn the art of mastering different pastries and then after that mainly use already made. I'll go with the chefs and use shop brought too...

Rosie x

Peter M said...

Take out the eggs and cheese and you have a Nistisimi Spanakopita!

A nice, lighter version and I can attest these types are very tasty too!

Nothing wrong with commercial phyllo.

Anonymous said...

I make my spanakopitta the same way, but I use feta cheese instead of Pecorino. I will give it a hot next time with some Greek graviera though!

Anonymous said...

A great pita, Maria. You can't go wrong with the combo of spinach an dill in my book. I honestly don't think I will ever brave making my own phyllo ;)

Bellini Valli said...

This is our ultimate favourite with dill, feta and filo.

Núria said...

I'm drooling over the keyboard... Yum! You are a wonderful cook and those pictures look so gooooood!!!
Buying the phyllo makes it easier ;D