Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lightened Up Spanakopita

When I started The Embrace Your Curves Project, I made a pledge that this wouldn't be a diet blog or a food only blog. That said, since food is a big part of most of our lives, I plan to share recipes with you each week. Do not worry, it won't be for items with artificial this or artificial that. It won't be for tasteless treats. I'm planning on sharing recipes for good food, but made more healthfully.

I love Spanakopita. I remember growing up as a child looking forward to my grandmother's "pita" each holiday. Mia, my grandmother, was Greek. She prepared large amounts of pita, as she called it, for every occasion. It was delicious.

I remember watching her make it as a child and I made a mental note of her recipe, as she brushed melted butter over layers of phyllo and folded the edges over.
I remember lots and lots of butter...some eggs...probably more butter, too.
Here is a light version of this delicious appetizer. I often make this for dinner, eating a piece of pita with a nice Greek salad.


1 box of frozen phyllo sheets (16 oz.)
1 box frozen chopped spinach
1 pound feta
1/2 cup part skim ricotta
Olive oil (you'll be eye-balling this; get a dish to pour it in)
1 egg, beaten
2 T. of fresh, finely chopped dill
1 t. fresh mint, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finley chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped

*Defrost the spinach. As much as I believe that fresh is better, it is not nearly as convenient as using the frozen. I am always in a hurry and this will save time! Drain the liquid from the spinach in a collander. Then take a clean, dry towel and gently press out excess moisture. You want to get as much out as you can.

*Take your phyllo out of the freezer and let sit on the counter to warm up for about 25 minutes.

*In a large bowl, combine crumbled feta, ricotta, onion, garlic, dill and mint. Add the egg and gently stir.

*You have two options. You can do separate layers of spinach and cheese mixture or mix them all together. When I am rushed, I combine them all loosely in my mixing bowl.

*Set aside. You'll now be working with the phyllo, which can sometimes be a bit uncooperative. It is extremely thin and fragile, so take your time with it.

*Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place 6 or 7 layers of phyllo onto the bottom of the cookie sheet. Using a basting brush, brush a liberal amount of extra virgin olive oil over the phyllo layers. 

*Take your filling and place a layer over the sheets of phyllo. 

*Now take about 3-4 sheets of phyllo and put on top of the cheese-spinach mixture.

*Brush this layer with olive oil.

*Repeat layering. 

*Your top layer should be several sheets of phyllo (6 or so is fine; it's not set in stone). Brush again with olive oil.

*Gently fold over the phyllo edges and brush edges with olive oil.

*Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

*Cool and cut into squares or triangles.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your comments with us! How are YOU embracing your curves?