Who makes the best spanakopita?
Yields: 60 triangles or 1 (9x13") pie
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 2 pounds spinach, washed and drained
* 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, chopped
* 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
* 1 to 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
* 1 pound filo pastry sheets
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pan, add half of the spinach and saute until spinach wilts, tossing with tongs, about 2 minutes. Remove spinach and squeeze out excess liquid, then chop roughly. Repeat with remaining spinach, using 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Pour off any liquid from the pan, and add remaining olive oil. Add scallions and saute until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach to the scallions, along with the parsley, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from heat to cool. (This part can be done ahead and kept refrigerated).
Stir the feta and as much beaten egg to moisten the cooled spinach mixture.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a baking sheet with some of the melted butter.
Unroll the filo dough on a flat surface and keep it covered with waxed paper and a damp towel so it doesn't dry out and become brittle. Using a sharp knife, cut the filo into 3 by 11 inch strips, and recover with the towel. One by one, use a pastry brush to brush a strip of filo with melted butter. Place a small spoonful of spinach filling 1 inch from the end of the pastry. Fold the end over the filling to form a triangle, then continue to fold up the strip in triangles, like folding up a flag. Continue with remaining strips of dough, placing filled triangles on the baking sheet and keeping them covered with a towel until all are ready to bake.
Brush the triangles lightly with butter, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve hot. (These may be frozen before baking, layering waxed paper between layers of triangles to keep them from sticking. Bake frozen triangles an extra 10 minutes.)
Variation: Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan, and spread 6 sheets of filo, brushing each with butter, on the bottom. Spoon the spinach filling over the filo, then cover with 6 more sheets of filo, buttering each sheet. Score the top 3 sheets with a sharp knife. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until top is golden, let stand 15 minutes, then cut into squares and serve warm.
re: Mike Kilgore
The spanikopita expert in my family--the one who's asked to make it for every occasion and spent years researching, comparing, and perfecting--well, his recipe is very similar to yours, except he uses sauteed yellow onions and insists that it must have a handful of chopped fresh dill to reach the heights of deliciousness.