Spanakotyropita is a very healthy Greek dish. Most Greek food is healthy in general but dishes with spinach are particularly healthy because of the contents of this miraculous vegetable. Spinach contains carotenoids that can help fend off many health problems such as macular degeneration which is a major cause of loss of eye sight. Spinach is very low in calories with almost 7 calories for 1 cup of spinach.
In Greece spinach pie or spanakopita is a very popular dish. There are many recipes for spanakopita but in this article we will present a recipe for spanakopita with cheese. In Greek a spanakopita with cheese is known as spanakotyropita. This recipe will only present how to make spanakopita with ready phyllo rather than making it from scratch.
The ingredients for this Greek spinach pie are: 4 pounds of fresh spinach, 2/3 cup of olive oil, 1 large or 2 small spring onions, 1 bunch of fresh dill (optional), 1/3 cup of water, 1 egg, 2/3 pounds of firm feta cheese, 2 teaspoons of freshly ground pepper, 1 pound of phyllo sheets. Most phyllo sheets come in frozen form so before you even start preparing your spanakopita it would be wise to take them out of the freezer to defrost a few hours before use. The first thing you will need to prepare your spanakopita with cheese is to sauté the finely chopped onion with the dill using olive oil in a large pot. You must use a large pot because later on you will add the spinach with some water and let it boil. Once the mixture reaches a boil cover the pot and reduce the heat.
Let the mixture cook to absorb the water and stir every now and then. This process could take 10 to 15 minutes. When your spanakopita mixture is cooled cover it and drain it.
Some people prepare the spanakopita mixture the day before and leave it to cool over night in the refrigerator; that is fine as well. Do as you please and depending on how you would like to manage your time. The second stage of preparing your spanakopita is now to prepare the pita itself. Bring the spanakopita mix to room temperature. Place it in a bow and keep it handy because you are going to use it soon.
At this point you can start to preheat your oven. A good temperature is at about 350F or just a little less than 180C. Take the egg and beat it in a bowl with a fork and add it to the spinach mix.
Crumble the cheese and add to the spinach, and toss the spanakopita mix a few times until it is evenly distributed. At this point you should unroll the phyllo for your spinach pie and count the sheets. Oil a pan measuring the same or slightly less than the phyllo sheets with 2 tablespoons of oil using a pastry brush. Lay half the phyllo in the pan, and fold in any overlap toward the center to fit the spanakopita dough into the pan. Brush the top of the phyllo with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, covering it from side to side.
Now you are ready to poor the spanakopita mixture into the pan and use a fork to spread it out evenly over the dough. Lay the rest half of the phyllo sheets on top of the spinach, and fold in the overlap so the sheets fit in the pan well and completely. It is advised to cut the spanakopita into pieces before you place it in the oven because of you do it later after it is done the phyllo could break. So, use a sharp knife to cut the spanakopita into square pieces. You could sprinkle a little bit of water as well and avoid touching the dough of your spanakopita after it is laid down.
Place the spanakopita in a preheated oven at 350°F and bake for about 30-40 minutes. And there you have it, freshly baked spanakopita with cheese.
Eat healthy learn a few Greek recipes. Greek food is healthy and easy to prepare in most cases. Learn how to make greek spinach pie. You can always find more great spanakopita recipes