Reader submitted recipe

Mediterranean flavors

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The mysterious ingredient called Filo (phyllo) dough would make me cringe when my mother-in-law would say to me, "Let's make a large pan of Spanakopeta." It took some time to relax when I had to pick up one pastry sheet at a time and hope that it wouldn't fall apart before laying it into the baking pan. Below is one of several Grecian creations my family looks forward to me preparing. A key ingredient to the success of a dish or dessert made with filo is to relax while handling the paper thin sheets as you layer them. Sherry Karnikis, Kasilof

Spinach Pie/Spanakopeta

Serves 10 to 15

3 to 4 bunches fresh spinach, washed dried and stemmed

1/2 cup finely chopped green or white onion

1/2 cup fresh minced parsley

1/2 teaspoon dill (optional)

8 to 12 ounces crumbled feta cheese

4 eggs beaten

1 teaspoon salt

2 cloves crushed garlic

Olive oil

1/2 pound filo pastry leaves (1 role pastry leaves) partially thawed

1 cup melted butter or margarine

Take spinach leaves and chop. Place in a very large bowl.

Lightly brown the onion and garlic with 1/2 cup of olive oil. Do not allow the oil to burn. Set aside.

Add parsley, dill, salt, beaten egg and crumbled feta to the cut spinach. Mix the oil, onion and garlic with the spinach mixture and set aside.

Take the roll of filo and slowly open the roll out flat. If it does not unfold easily give it more time to thaw. With flattened sheets, pick up an individual sheet and place in a 9 by 13 pan brushed with butter. Begin laying the single sheets of filo one a time. If the sheet is not the dimension of the pan overlap the sheet. Lightly brush butter over every other sheet.

Layer half the roll of pastry sheets then pour the spinach mixture over pastry. Spread evenly.

Layer the other half of the pastry sheets on top of the mixture and butter as before. The last pastry sheet should be completely buttered. Pastry sheets may tear. Use them anyway.

Use a sharp knife to cut through the spinach pie. Cut in 2 by 2 or 3 by 3 inch squares. You may have to hold down the pastry as it sticks to the knife

Bake at 350 degree for 45 minutes. You want a golden color top crust.

Serving suggestions: This vegetable pastry is a perfect lunch dish with a salad, or cut smaller makes a delicious snack or hor d'oeuvre. It compliments main dishes of fish, chicken, pork and beef or game meat.

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