Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spanakopita-Greek Spinach and Feta Parcels~And an award too!!




Spanakopita is a Greek pastry made with spinach, feta cheese, herbs, eggs, green onions along with other ingredients. This is commonly served as an appetizer or snack. The filling is enclosed in flaky phyllo pastry sheets and oven baked until golden brown, the colour enhanced by brushing the pastry with egg whites. There are few ways to make this pastry. It can be either made as a pie by enclosing the filling within layers of phyllo dough and later cut into triangles or the filling itself is divided into equal portions and each portion is placed on top of stacked phyllo sheets, each sheet greased with olive oil to enable it to stick to the other sheet stacked on top of it and rolled to form triangles.

If you are new to phyllo pastry then there are few important points to be noted while handling phyllo dough. Phyllo dough can be stored in the refrigerator for weeks. When working with phyllo dough make sure that everything else is ready as you need to work really fast once you have opened the phyllo sheets. The phyllo sheets when exposed to air become dry and brittle and then it would be difficult to work with them. So only work with the dough at the end of preparation.The top surface of each sheet is brushed with olive oil or butter before placing another sheet on top to enable the sheets to stick to each other. Also phyllo sheets are not similar to puff pastry the difference being in the method of preparation, though they may look similar when baked.


I adopted this recipe from the book 'The Complete Cookbook-Vegetarian' by Helen Aitken. With more than 200 recipes this is an indispensable one for any vegan cook with each recipe accompanied by eye catching shots of the final dish along with step by step photographs. I have modified the recipe to suit my taste and here is my version.

Ingredients:
Spinach- 250 g chopped
1/2 White Onion minced
Green onions(spring onions)- 3 chopped
Fresh Parsley chopped - 3 tbsp
Fresh Dill chopped - 2 tbsp
Powdered Nutmeg - 1/2 tsp
Italian seasoning - 1 tbsp
Fresh Chives chopped - 1 tbsp
Fresh Oregano chopped - 1 tbsp
Freshly grated Parmesan- 1 tbsp
Crumbled feta cheese - 1/2 cup
Ricotta cheese - 1/3 cup
Egg -1 beaten
Salt & Pepper to taste
Olive oil for cooking
Melted butter for greasing sheets
Egg white for brushing
Phyllo pastry

Method:
  • Cook chopped spinach over low medium heat until leaves have wilted. Cool and drain well. Squeeze tightly to remove excess water. This step is very important because moisture in spinach turns phyllo dough soggy. Keep aside.
  • Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium heat and saute onions until it turns transparent.
  • Add green onions and saute for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
  • Add drained spinach to the above mixture and mix well.
  • Add parsley, dill, nutmeg, Italian seasoning, chives, oregano, Parmesan, feta, ricotta and mix well.
  • Add beaten egg followed by salt and pepper. Do not add too much salt as feta cheese is salty. Mix thoroughly.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F(180 C).
  • Grease baking tray.
  • Work with three sheets of pastry at a time covering the rest with a damp tea towel.
  • Brush each sheet with melted butter and lay them on top of each other. Continue this process until a stack of 3 sheets are formed.
  • Cut into half length ways.
  • Spoon a portion of the filling at an angle at the right end of each strip and fold the right end towards the left enclosing the filling to form a triangle.
  • Continue folding the triangle until the end of pastry is reached.
  • Brush the outer surface of the pastry with egg white.
  • Place the triangles on a greased baking tray and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Serve warm.
This goes to:




SWC-Cooking With Greens hosted by Sowmya and started by Lakshmi.


Lena of Lemon n Spice , Padma of Padma's Recipes & Parita of Parita's World have passed me the 'I Love Your Blog' Award. Thanks a lot. You made my day :)



I hereby pass this award to all my friends in the blogging world(all nominees are there in Fellow Bloggers link at the top of the page) who have supported and encouraged me. So friends, please take this award with you.

Pooja.

Other Appetizers:

Squash SoupTomato SoupHummusMinestrone SoupPhotobucket

Other Snacks:

Pazham PoriFrench ToastPhotobucketUnnakkayi

66 comments:

SAILAJA said...

Not bad u r trying lot of Greek dishes....good

Lisa said...

Oh my. These sound great. I have eaten spanakopita before but never tried making my own. It's on my list of treats to try!

Padma said...

Nice entry Pooja... very crispy and flaky and yet very healthy n nutritious with all those filling ... loved it :)

Sweta said...

Sounds wonderful.Never tried it.

Pooja said...

Thanks Ms.Sailaja :)
Thanks Lisa. I too used to have store bought one when I came across the recipe that tempted me to try. And believe me, it tastes lot better than store bought one :)
Thanks Padma & Sweta :)

Pavithra said...

Oh wow pooja thats looking fantastic.. can u please parcel me those parcels.. waiting to have bite.
Thanks for ur lovely comment dear and regd the milk it takes maximum 1/2 hr thats all, u can do some other works parallely by keeping them low flame so that we will not feel the time.

Pooja said...

Thanks a lot Pavithra for the quick response! Will try out your rabdi for sure.
And yes sure, expect a parcel too :)

Vani said...

I love spanikopitas but handling phyllo sheets scares me! They look so thin and fragile.
Looks crunchy and perfect, Pooja!

Pooja said...

Thanks Vani :) I too was scared when I handled those fragile sheets at first! The greatest prob I faced was the sheets sticking to each other :)

Parita said...

Looks very good dear..perfect entries

Pooja said...

Looking crisp and nice pooja..I never try international dishes like this except chineese..should start to taste some..

Pooja said...

Thanks Parita & Pooja :)
Do try..its simple n easy one :)

Priya said...

Thats a fabulous entry for both event Pooja,yet to try these spanakopita, seems very simple..

doggybloggy said...

pooja this looks great...have you also made baklava?

Pooja said...

Thanks Priya..yes its very simple to prepare too :)
Thanks DB..unfortunately no..I'm yet to try Baklava though I love it!

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Pooja this looks very yummy and a scrumptious dish, a splendid presentation... Love the way its been cooked I mean the choice of ingredients... Phyllo Pastry, thats new is it different from the others???

Pooja said...

Thanks Ramya :) Phyllo dough is paper thin sheets of raw dough made with flour, water and small amounts of oil. It can be obtained from the frozen section of stores. Its different from Puff pastry which is made with flour, lots of butter and other ingredients.

Uma said...

ooh, yummy spanakopita! Never tried at home. Tooooo tempting :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Uma :)

Helene said...

I've never heard of that cookbook before. That spanakopita sounds lovely. I love those greek dishes.

Pooja said...

Thanks Helene :)There is another one too: The Complete Cookbook-Asian by the same author.

Priyameena said...

The dish name is so unique..feta and spinach are wonderful combination..Nice tips for the phyllo dough..Great work!!

Pooja said...

Thanks Priya :)

VineelaSiva said...

What a lovely dish.I never heard of this.I think it must be tasty.Its perfect dish for the event.

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Looks very nice. I have never eaten it but looks tempting here...

sowmya said...

Have seen this before but never tried making or tasted this ... looks really delicious and healthy too..Thanks for sending this over to cooking with greens..

Divya Vikram said...

Have had this in a greek restaurant once. Spinach n chese form a great combo!

Prathibha said...

Wow that looks amazing lol....u guys r lucky to get those phyllo sheets there..Here w get bored of eating those regular puffs..

Pooja said...

Thanks Vineela & HCOF :) This snack is usually there in frozen section of stores..but after making this I prefer having this rather than store bought one :)
Thanks Sowmya :)
Thanks Divya :) Yes indeed it does :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Prathibha :) Yes I understand! This looks similar to puff pastry when baked but guess its more healthier coz puff pastry is made with lots of butter!

Lena Rashmin Raj said...

something special for you in my blog.. :)

Valarmathi said...

Looks lovely and delicious.

Vrinda said...

That looks so divine Pooja and new to me...Thanks for sharing..Have a nice weekend...

Chitra said...

very new to me,looks good:)

Pooja said...

Thanks a lot Lena for the award :)
Thanks Valar :)
Thanks Vrinda..have a great weekend :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Chitra :)

Kalyani said...

wow it looks so wonderful .... nice try pooja .... good one ......

Pooja said...

Thanks Kalyani :)

Renuka said...

This looks lovely..i badly want to have some of those..am drooling here...

Pooja said...

Thanks Renuka :)

Jeena said...

Whata wonderful treat it looks perfect and I bet it tasted amazing Pooja. :-)

Pooja said...

Thanks Jeena :) Yes it did :)

Smitha said...

Hey Pooja.
I love spanakopita. I had it at spiros, a greek restaurant nearby. Loved it because I love cheese and greens. And the papery dough is the best.
U have made it perfect. You picture says it all. Congrats on the award.

Pooja said...

Thanks Smitha :) Cheese n greens combo is my favourite too..this made me fall in love with this snack :)

Dhanya Nambirajan said...

Wow Pooja,Lovely dish,looks colorful and delicious.

Pooja said...

Thanks Dhanya :)

ARUNA said...

wow this looks amazing Pooja!!!!

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

wow.. u made these? awesome!

Pooja said...

Thanks Aruna & Mahimaa :)

Priti said...

Hey Pooja...this loosk fab...wonderful entry

Pooja said...

Thanks Priti :)

Supriya Nair said...

Here is something great and new for me to try...The Spanakopita is rocking and well captured..

Pooja said...

Thanks Supriya :)

Alisa@Foodista said...

Your food photos are really something! That spanakopita is really calling out to me :) Really delicious!

Pooja said...

Thanks Alisa :)

Ushanandini said...

My kids love pastry! Spanakopita looks delicious and I'm sure these are gobbled up quickly! It's new to me! :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Usha..yes doesnt require much time to finish the lot :)

Vibaas said...

this is new and looks very delicious. nice way to make kids eat spinach ;-)

Congrats on your award, dear!

Pooja said...

Thanks Vibaas..yes kids would love it :)

Padma said...

Pooja...I have soemthing for you in my blog :)
http://padmasrecipes.blogspot.com/2009/05/bread-upma.html

Pooja said...

Thanks a lot Padma for the award. Just saw it and updated the post acc to the rules as well :)

Vicky Xavier. said...

Cute feta parcels. Tempts to grab one:)

Pooja said...

Thanks Vicky :)

Parita said...

Pls do check my blog..something special for you :)

Shabs.. said...

This one looks fab pooja.....I have heard about this recipe thru the newsletter i received from about.com and i have noted it down in my saved recipe.But again, i lost all those treasures in my computer crash.:(

Pooja said...

Thanks a lot Parita for passing me the award :)
Thanks Shabs..Yes I came to know from your blog. How sad! Hope you get the system fixed soon.