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need spanakopita-like ideas for using up greens, without the filo

Is the answer just a plain pizza dough? I have a TON of greens to use up as a main dish, and was thinking spanakopita but I don't want all that butter or to mess with filo. Should I just mix up the filling, and bake it in something like pizza dough or does that not work? Ideas for green-intensive main dishes (not pasta--did that last night)?


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  1. Don't want to use filo dough? Use pizza dough and make calzone. Or drop it all in a casserole dish and make shepherd's pie.

    1. What about a quiche (if you have pie crust on hand and don't mind the fat) or fritatta (if not)?

      1. Bake in a pie shell. Bake in an oven-proof bowl and use as dip with raw veggies. Thin with milk and use as a souffle base.

        1. Cook until wilted; season w/ garlic, onion, e-z salt, pepper and a touch of vinegar. Drain well and chop; Stuff into a pocket that you've sliced into a ham; bake that ham and let it cool; slice and serve. Voila: Maryland Ham. It's a regional thing and very tasty, and I'm sure I'll hear from people who will tell me I use the wrong seasonings, but that's how I like it.
          Any greens can be slow cooked with bacon or a ham hock, onions, salt and pepper. Just let them cook cook cook, way past the point that you think they're done, and chop the meat and return to the greens. During the last half hour, add quartered new potatoes or red potatoes. Cover and continue to cook until potatoes are well-done, but not totally crumbling.Serve in bowls, with cornbread and honey butter and plenty of the pot likkker.

          1. Make stuffed shells- sautee the greens with olive oil, salt/pepper, nutmeg, shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, and maybe some golden raisins. Fold in to ricotta and "mashed up" fresh mozzarella. Stuff jumbo shells with about a tablespoon of your mixture (I usually figure 4 shells per person). Top with a basic marinara sauce and bake for about 20 minutes (I like to finish under the broiler to crisp up the top.

            You can also freeze any extra if you have that many greens- get the shells to the "stuffed" point and then freeze before baking.

            ETA: Sorry, just saw in your original post you didn't want pasta- don't know if this is different enough that it would be ok. But you could do the exact same thing with the greens/cheese I described above, and make a calzone as someone a few posts up suggested.

            1. If you have never used phyllo, don't be intimidated. As long as you follow the package thawing instructions and don't try to rush the process, and keep unused sheets covered in a damp towel, it is not hard to work with - easier, IME, than pate brisee or puff pastry dough (I say that as someone who makes pie dough from scratch).

              I don't like the idea of all that butter, either, but it's simple to get around that. I use melted butter on one sheet and butter-flavored baking spray (Pam) on the next 2 or 3 sheets. Melted butter on the top, for nice browning and crispness. Triangles, as in spanakopita, are quite easy to fold - just like folding a flag.

              2 Replies
              1. re: greygarious

                you can also spray olive oil and forgot the butter altogether.

                1. re: greygarious

                  IMHO, Phyllo is always a pain to use if you live someplace with low humidity!

                  I make a quiche with a spinach crust (from the Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbook) that's great, you can use any kind of green.

                2. I've been meaning to make this stuffed pizza forever - it calls for escarole but you could use any greens: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                  1. Quiche is an excellent way to use them up. . .just substitute for spinach in your favorite recipe but cook the greens til tender first. You can also blanch them for 3-4 minutes, shock, drain, chop and freeze. Strata is another idea.

                    1. I just make the spanakopita filling (mine includes spinach, eggs, green onion, curly endive, arugula, dill, feta), and bake it in an oiled ovenproof dish until set, without pastry, resulting in a type of spinach frittata. One of my relatives uses flour tortillas instead of filo when she's in a hurry.

                      I've also used spinach, endive, arugula, dill + feta (or sometimes chevre) combination in risottos and orzo dishes, and sometimes make a Greek-inspired mac + cheese with feta, dill and spinach/zucchini/arugula.

                      1. make a frittata and use a high proportion of greens to eggs. Add ricotta.