Spinach Pie

This pie can be enjoyed as an entrée or cut into smaller pieces and served as a pre-meal nibble. Phyllo can be found in the freezer case of most supermarkets, near puff pastry and pie crusts. For best results let it thaw in its original packaging in the refrigerator overnight. (If you have to rush things, it can thaw on the counter, but you run a greater risk of the sheets sticking together and tearing.) Most phyllo comes in 1-pound packages, but several brands have two 8-ounce sleeves inside the box, thaw one and keep one in the freezer for another day.

Feel free to substitute other greens for the spinach or kale. Chard, amaranth greens, or collards would all be great options.

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 small yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped, about 2 cups chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, rinsed and coarsely chopped, without large stems

1 small bunch (4–5 large leaves) fresh kale of

any variety, chopped without stems

1 small bunch of scallions, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

8 ounces phyllo dough, thawed

Approximately 1/2 cup olive oil, for assembly

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

 

Preheat oven to 375°. Heat olive oil in a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic until tender; add spinach and kale and cook until wilted. Remove from pan and place in colander; squeeze any liquid from the mixture.

In a large bowl, mix together spinach mixture, chopped scallions, dill, feta cheese, cream cheese and eggs until all is completely combined. Lightly grease bottom of a 9- by 13-inch pan or baking dish with olive oil.

Open your phyllo package and unroll the dough. Working quickly, lift 1 sheet of phyllo and lay it into the prepared pan. Brush with olive oil. Repeat layering phyllo, brushing with oil between each layer for a total of 6 sheets on the bottom of the pan. Spread filling evenly on layered sheets of phyllo.

Repeat the steps of layering phyllo and brushing with olive oil for another 6-8 sheets.

Score the top layer of phyllo (down to the filling) with a very sharp knife into your desired serving pieces. This trick makes it much easier to cut and serve when the spinach pie is ready. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds.

Bake in oven for 35 minutes or until the top is rich golden brown. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature.

Yields 1 (9- by 13-inch) pie: 6–8 entrée portions or 12+ appetizer portions.