The word spanakopita is Greek for spinach pie. If it’s your first time trying this delicacy, you’re in for a treat. The original Greek recipe is straight to the point with minimal spices.
The greatest honor you can award food is staying true to the classics, especially if it’s so good. And that’s what you should try first. Afterward, you can experiment with variations of this recipe. Because of such experiments, several variations of spanakopita serve different preferences worldwide.
The original recipe is simple and tasty, which is why it’s a staple at our Mediterranean restaurant in NYC. The ingredients are:
- Pre-washed baby spinach (1 pound)
- Dill to taste
- Finely chopped scallions
- Black pepper to your liking
- Phyllo dough (1 pound)
- Feta cheese (1 pound)
- Three organic eggs
- Olive oil (2 cups)
To make spanakopita:
- Roughly chop the spinach and put it in a large bowl.
- Season with salt
- Crumble the feta cheese onto the mix
- Add chopped scallions
- Add black pepper to your taste
- Add the dill
- Season with salt–if needed
- Add a cup of olive oil and mix well
- Beat the eggs and add to the mixture and mix until well blended
- Coat the baking tray with olive oil
- Lay between one to three phyllo dough sheets on a baking tray or casserole make sure you have extra sheets at the borders to cover the edges of the pie.
- Drizzle and coat the layers evenly with butter
- Add more layers as you desire, oiling between each layer.
- Spread the filling evenly on the phyllo dough
- Cover with the desired amount of phyllo sheets. Be sure to oil between every layer.
- Cut into your preferred serving shapes and sizes.
- Brush the top with more olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
- When you’re ready to put the pie in the oven, reduce the heat to 350 degrees
- Bake for 40 minutes to an hour, depending on size, until golden brown and crispy on top
- Allow cooling at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Once you allow cooling at room temperature for 20 minutes., the spanakopita is ready to serve.
What Does Spanakopita Taste Like?
Spanakopita has a savory flavor from spinach and scallions. It’s crunchy on the outside and soft and creamy in the middle. The aroma of the veggies, spices and feta cheese make the experience worth every bite.
Some people prefer to sauté the spinach in onions before making the filling. It’s a personal choice, although that may cause a twist in the flavors. You don’t need to sauté the spinach for the original Greek recipe (as in the one we just shared). Skipping this step saves you the need to strain the sautéed spinach to prevent sogginess.
You can serve spanakopita can as an appetizer or as a main dish. You only need to play with the serving sizes. The combination of bread and vegetables with feta is a complete meal. Check out some of the best complimenting sides to serve with spanakopita.
What Do You Eat with Spanakopita?
Spanakopita is versatile and pairs well with different side dishes for variety in nutrients and color.
- Salad on the side: Serve spanakopita with Greek cucumber or chickpea salad.
- Pasta with feta cheese sauce: Pasta combines well with this pita for rich flavors and an energy-packed meal.
- Rice pilaf: Some tasty rice cooked in vegetable broth takes spanakopita to another level
- Greek Tzatziki sauce: Cucumber and yogurt dip goes perfectly with spanakopita. You can dip it in plain Greek yogurt.
- Roasted garlic hummus: Hummus is great with spanakopita.
- Serve as a side dish with chicken or lamb.
You can serve spanakopita with any side of your choice. Let your creativity lead you.
How Healthy is Spanakopita?
Spanakopita is on top in the world’s healthiest snack race. It’s made mainly with fresh, whole ingredients. Each of the main components brings many benefits to the table.
Spinach alone is a superfood.
- Spinach gives you iron which your body needs for blood production.
- It supplements your magnesium needs. Considering most Americans don’t get enough magnesium intake for their dietary needs, that’s huge.
- Other nutrients present in spinach are necessary for healthy hair, skin, and bones.
- Spinach helps control blood glucose levels.
- It is an excellent source of calcium necessary for strong bones.
- It has a lower fat content compared to other cheeses.
- Is protein-packed.
- Filling you to let you feel full for longer
- Low in calories
- It has no trans fats or saturated fats
If you want to try this delicious food before deciding if making one at home is worth your while, welcome to Miriam Restaurant. Pop in for brunch or dinner. Our spanakopita may be the best takeout you ever ordered.