Spinach Pie

spinach pie

I made this poor pie on Sunday night and am only now showing it to you in this not-so-fabulous photo. That’s kind of how things have been around here lately! Sunday was fine, and then Monday was craaaazy busy followed by Mr. Pea making a delicious chowder that neither of us photographed, and Tuesday made Monday look like a tea party, and here we are. It’s Wednesday. C’est la vie.

I do want it on the record, though, that I made not one but TWO whole meals on Sunday, and they were both tasty and healthy, PLUS I made dessert. It’s how I make up for ordering Mexican food for dinner last night. Clearly, going back to work and teaching all week has knocked me off my healthy eating bandwagon, at least partway.

So, spinach pie. It’s easy to make, full of nutrients and goodness, and goes a long way. I basically cheat my way around a Joy of Cooking recipe for spanokopita appetizers.

You’ll need:
Phyllo dough–about, oh, 14 slices. Thaw it out (or not, if you’re me, and curse it as it breaks), take it out of the package, and keep it covered with a damp towel. Phyllo dough is unforgiving, breaks easily, and dries out in seconds. I, however, was not striving for prettiness in my pie. I know better.
Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
Couple of garlic cloves, chopped
2 boxes frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry with a towel
Feta cheese–we had a container with .41 of a pound, but by the time I made this, there was likely .38. The original recipe calls for half a pound, but .38 seemed like plenty to me.
Salt
2 T parmesan
2 eggs
dash of nutmeg

I think that’s everything. Oh, and butter for your pan.

So, the first thing is to put a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and saute that onion, adding garlic near the end, 5-7 minutes or until transluscent. When that’s done, add your spinach, breaking it up with your hands, and dry like the devil to combine the two. This is sometimes easier said than done, and later on it won’t matter so much. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, beat your eggs. Crumble in your cheeses, and beat in. Add your (cooled!) spinach mixture, and use your hands to mix well. Add a little salt, and a little nutmeg. Set aside.

Take a deep breath, unroll that phyllo, and put it under the towel. Grease your pan. This dish, from the aforementioned Crate and Barrel spree, is about a 9″ or so square at the bottom.

Take a sheet of phyllo. Place in pan, tucking into corners. Fold in sides, so you’ve essentially created two layers. This is what I mean by cheating. Joy of Cooking had you cutting and trimming the sheets. Meh. Using a pastry brush, paint each layer with olive oil. Traditionally you’d use butter, but we’re doing some healthy cooking here. And I’m lazy by Sunday night, knowing I have class to teach the next morning.

Do it again. And again. And again, Until you’ve got 7 sheets of phyllo down for 14 layers. My middle wasn’t entirely covered with the folded layers, so I scrunched up a piece and stuck it in that area. Then spread your cheesy spinach mixture all over the dough. When that’s done, repeat the phyllo process. I tried to have a nice sheet to put on top of it, so it looked a bit fancier. Paint with olive oil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or so, until heated through and golden brown.

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