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"Bitter" spinach... Any experienced Spanikopita Bakers out there?

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Has anyone ever noticed a bitterness in spinach/Spanikopita?
I've been asked to make Spanikopita without butter, using olive oil instead. Now the feedback is that there is a bitterness to the spinach, and I've only heard vague word of ways to get rid of that "bitterness"
Although I suspect the bitterness is due to the sole use of olive oil...
Has anyone else ever encountered bitter spinach?

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  1. Were you using the stems?

    1. No help here, but I am curious, do you still get nice browning of the filo using olive oil only?

      1. I think the bitterness is due to the olive oil. I have a recipe for baklava which also uses mostly olive oil and it is distinctly bitter compared with the butter version. I haven't tried making either with other oils which may help with the flavor.

        1. Sometimes there are stems, when in a pinch I have to use frozen spinach. This past weekend I had to use Birdeye Frozen Spinch, (Spinach now is so expensive and yucky looking!) which did contain stems, and the "organic" brands contain even more stems. I wonder if there is a realy good frozen brand to look for.
          The olive oil still creates a nice browning on the top though.

          1. Concerning the olive oil, maybe try using light or gold-colored rather than extra virgin. I find that in some cooking, evoo goes a little bitter. Plus, its flavor wouldn't really shine through in spanakopita.

            Does it have to be olive oil? Could you try a butter substitute? I know there are some made from olive oil, though I haven't tried cooking with them.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Kagey

              They want olive oil due to cholesterol issues. I'm curious about blended oils... maybe it's time for another thread about olive oil brands...