About this Recipe
A very special thank you to my friend Nefeli and his mother (who rent beautiful houses in Kythnos, the Liotrivi House, Cyclades) who have explained me step by step the recipe for phyllo dough and spanakopita. Without them I would have continued to think that doing this wonder at home would have been impossible, instead …
Nefeli’s mother explained to me that if you have fresh, very soft spinach, instead of browning them with onions, you can rub them with the tips of your hands with a pinch of salt and then add them only to the last in the pan to give them only a touch of flavor.
Another small feature of this savory pie is that in the spinach mix to thicken it I used raw couscous but the original product is called Trahana (very easy to find in all supermarkets in Greece, not known in Italy). It looks just like a couscous, dry and grainy, but it is actually produced with durum wheat mixed, depending on the recipes, with milk, buttermilk, butter or yogurt. It is a product found throughout the Balkan and Middle Eastern cuisine. If you find it, I suggest you try it, because it gives
a slightly acidic touch to the filling that goes well with other ingredients.
Obviously, if you do not want to prepare the phyllo dough, you can easily buy it ready, it will take about a pack: 4-3 sheets as a base, 3 sheets above. In this case, engrave the surface of the last layer of dough into slices, but do not hole it with
- a dose of phyllo dough
- 500g fresh spinach
- 4 spring onions
- 1 onion
- 1 leek
- 200g feta cheese
- 50g Dutch type cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 bunch of dill
- 1 branch of chervil
- a handful of couscous or breadcrumbs
- sweet paprika
- milk to brush
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
Wash the spinach, drain well and chop them. Peel spring onions, onion and leek, cut into thin slices and brown them in a large pan over low heat. When they are soft, add the spinach, salt lightly and cook for about 15 minutes. Let it cool, then transfer it to a bowl and add the crumbled feta cheese, grated Dutch cheese, chopped herbs, egg, a little paprika and pepper. Mix everything together into a homogeneous mixture. If it happens to be too liquid, add a handful of cous cous (raw) or breadcrumbs.
Prepare the phyllo in 7-8 thin sheets, take a first sheet of dough and place it in a 33 cm round pan. Let the dough over the edges.
Brush it abundantly with oil, using a kitchen brush. Gently lay down another sheet and grease this too. Continue by stacking 3-4 sheets for the base, brushing them each time with oil.
Stuff the base with the spinach and cheese filling, leaving a little space on the sides.
Place another sheet of phyllo dough on top and brush with oil. Continue in layers finishing all the sheets prepared and brushing them with oil.
Seal the edges of the base with those of the upper part forming a cord along the edge of the spanakopita.
Brush the surface with milk or oil and slice the dough into pieces or prick it with the prongs of a fork. Bake at 180° for about 1 hour.
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