Chiffonade + Veggies = Spanakopita!

Chiffonade: knife technique that simply means to cut into long, slim strips *pictured below*. The reason I bring this up today is because this post will be all about the well known, Greek savory dish called Spanakopita (spinach pie)!

Chiffonade: knife technique that simply means to cut into long, slim strips *pictured below*. The reason I bring this up today is because this post will be all about the well known, Greek savory dish called Spanakopita (spinach pie)!

Screenshot (13)

Greek Spanakopita is a favorite for many Greeks. I grew up with my yiayia (grandmother) making Spanakopita and I have learned over all these years how to make a stunning spinach. The thing that makes our spanakopites the best (yes, I’m bragging), I think is the greens we put into it and of course quality feta cheese.
This recipe is very easy to assemble. The only thing that takes longest in honestly the preparation of the greens. We also put just a tablespoon of trahana. This is a dry grain, couscous like. We mainly put this into the spanakopita to help absorb any extra moisture. You should be able to find this at most international, Mediterranean stores or even online.

 

Preparation is very important. The spinach and leaks need to be cleaned and let to dry as much as possible. The best way to get the leaks cleaned, of all the dirt, is filling a large bowl with water, splitting them stalks either in half or in quarters, and letting them soak for at least 30 minutes. All the dirt will drop to the bottom of the bowl. The spinach should be cut using the chiffonade technique, the leaks should be cut thin, the parsley, dill and green onions should also be cut thin and even. The time you spend preparing and cooking, do it efficiently. All you need is mis en place! This is a French term meaning to have “everything in its place”. This is why preparation is so important. When it comes to putting it all together, it will be so much quicker.

Here’s the recipe:
– Ingredients –
About 10 cups of spinach *chiffonade*
2 leaks or about 2 cups
6 stalks of fresh green onions
1 cup of  fresh flat leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
3 eggs
2 tbsp trahanas grain
3 cups of crumbled feta cheese (the feta that is still in it’s brine liquid is best)
Butter
Oil
Salt
Pepper
Filo pastry sheets
– Directions –
Preparation is very important. The spinach and leaks need to be cleaned and let to dry as much as possible. The best way to get the leaks cleaned, of all the dirt, is filling a large bowl with water, splitting them stalks either in half or in quarters, and letting them soak for at least 30 minutes. All the dirt will drop to the bottom of the bowl. The spinach should be cut using the chiffonade technique, the leaks should be cut thin, the parsley, dill and green onions should also be cut thin and even. The time you spend preparing and cooking, do it efficiently. All you need is mis en place! This is a French term meaning to have “everything in its place”. This is why preparation is so important. When it comes to putting it all together, it will be so much quicker.
1. Clean the greens and put them to dry.
2. Chop them in the forms I have spoken about above.
3.  Now for the assembly, add the spinach, leaks, green onions, parsley and dill in a large bowl and mix.
4. Mix the eggs in a separate bowl slightly and add them into the greens and mix.
5. Add the trahana, mix.
6. Add the feta cheese, mix.
7. Add a big pinch of salt and pepper and mix it all thoroughly.
8. Keeping the filling aside, now it’s time to prepare the base.
9. Melt some butter and add some olive oil to it and keep it aside because you need it for the filo pastry.
10. In a baking dish or tray, using the butter/oil mixture, butter the dish well and begin adding a sheet of filo dough making sure it covers the bottom. With a silicon brush or regular one, brush some of the butter mixture on that piece of filo dough. Put another piece on top of that one and repeat until you have 4 sheets on the bottom.
11. Once you have that base, add a handful of the filling and then add 2-3 sheets on filo on top of the filing. Continue making these layers until the filling is finished. Make sure to always add butter between the layers of filo dough so they don’t get too dry.
12. Add a layer on 4 sheets of filo on the top and brush with the butter mixture.
13. In a preheated oven at 400 degrees, bake for 55-60 minutes or until the filo is golden brown and crispy.
14. Any questions? Email me at despinasgreekeats@gmail.com
15. You can also visit here for the link to my Youtube demo video for this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQfBVrtxOV4

 

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