Spanakopita with feta cheese

“SPANAKOPITA!”

I love this moment from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, where Yiayia, sitting under a table at her great granddaughter’s high school’s college fair event, emerges from the tablecloth to cry, “Spanakopita!”  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Greek spinach pie, spanakopita with feta cheese, is also called “Spanakotiropita.” I made this version for Easter dinner yesterday. It was a big hit with my family.
Spanakopita with feta cheese

Here’s the recipe for my spanakopita with feta cheese, adapted from my Mothers’ Hellenic Cuisine 1956 cookbook by Saints Constantine and Helen Ladies Society.

Spanakopita
Author: 
Recipe type: savory pie
Cuisine: Greek
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 pieces
 
Spanakopita - Spinach Pie with butter recipe adapted from the Hellenic Cuisine cookbook by Sts. Constantine and Helen Ladies Society, Detroit MI 1956
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. of frozen spinach
  • 2 small bunches of green onions
  • 1 lb. crumbled Greek feta cheese
  • 7 eggs, beaten
  • 1 lb. of butter
  • 1 box of frozen phyllo / filo pastry sheets (2 rolls per box, approximately 20 sheets per roll)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
Instructions
  1. Day before baking - Allow spinach to thaw and drain over night in a colander (use a bowl underneath the colander to catch the moisture)
  2. Allow frozen phyllo to thaw in refrigerator overnight
  3. Next day - Preheat oven to 350° F
  4. Combine spinach, crumbled feta, green onions, beaten eggs and spices, and mix into a large bowl
  5. Melt butter and set aside
  6. Grease 9 x 13" pan
  7. Place 10 - 12 pastry sheets into pan brushing each with melted butter
  8. Spread spinach mixture on top of buttered pastry sheets
  9. Cover spinach mixture with 10 - 12 pastry sheets, each also brushed with melted butter
  10. Score the top of the pie to the size of desired pieces
  11. Bake at 350° F for one hour or until golden brown

 

And look who won the egg cracking contest this year. Good luck for me!

Spanakopita with feta cheese, The Egg Cracking Champion

Happy Easter! Kalo Pascha! Christos Anesti!

More of my Greek Easter blog posts and recipes here:

 

Greeks Dye Easter Eggs Red

One of the oldest Easter traditions for Greek Orthodox Christians are Easter eggs dyed red. In the Orthodox Church, Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ, and the hard shell of the egg symbolizes the sealed Tomb of Christ — the cracking of which symbolized his resurrection from the dead.

Easter Eggs Red

You can dye eggs naturally using the skins of yellow onions. I used the skin of 10 small to medium sized yellow onions and all the skin that was loose in the net bag they come in from the market.

Easter eggs red

I’ll use these onions in the same pan that I roast the traditional Easter lamb on Sunday. They’ll work as a bed for the lamb to rest on, along with other herbs, in the roasting pan.

Easter eggs red

Cover the skins with approximately 6 cups of water and 8 tbsp. of white vinegar. Bring to a boil and let steep. The longer the skins steep the darker the color. I used brown eggs with yellow onions skins to get the deeper rusty red color.

Easter eggs red

You can hard boil the eggs with the skins or in the liquid after the skins have been removed. Bring the liquid back to boil and simmer the eggs for 5 to 8 minutes then take off the heat. Leave the eggs in the dye until they are cool.

Easter eggs red

You can also let the eggs cool in the dye and set in your fridge overnight.

Here’s the how-to video I followed, on dying eggs with onion skins, from my friend, Blogger and Greek Chef, Peter Minaki.

Kalo Pascha and Kali Anastasi!

Christos Anesti 2012

It was a beautiful day celebrating Easter with family and friends. A lot of preparation goes into our annual Easter feast. I baked bread.Tassajara Yeasted Wheat BreadI dyed red eggs. (And inadvertently, my hands as well.)Traditional red Easter eggsI made my family’s favorite potato salad. The menu also included roasted potatoes and carrots, Greek salad, orzo salad and spinach pie. potato saladAnd of course, a leg of lamb. (You can see last year’s Easter lamb & festivities video here.)preparing the leg of  lambThe table was set early. (A little guy needed some blueberries fast.) We started the meal breaking Tsoureki, the traditional Easter bread. We read St. John Chrysostom’s Paschal Homily (c. 347–407).Table is set The egg cracking contest was underway…
Egg cracking

…and it’s Benjamin for the win!Benjamin FTWThe feast is abundant, eat your fill! All of you enjoy the wealthy banquet of the faith and mercy of God.

Greek Easter 2012

Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is risen, and life reigns! Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!
Christos Anesti!