Spanakopita (chantilles)

Yield: 12 Servings

Measure Ingredient
⅓ cup Olive oil or butter
1 small Bunch scallions; chopped
3 pounds Spinach; washed & drained
1 small Bunch parsley; chopped
1 small Bunch fresh dill; chopped
Salt & freshly ground pepper
½ pounds Feta cheese, crumbled
4 Eggs; lightly beaten
12 Commercial filo sheets
6 tablespoons Butter; melted
Bread crumbs, if necessary

Heat the ⅓ cup oil in a large pan and saute the scallions until soft. Meanwhile, pan the spinach (cook it without adding water, then drain it thoroughly) or salt and rinse it (the latter method is used extensively in Greece, but it not advisable). Squeeze out excess liquid. Add the spinach to scallions and stir in the parsley, dill, and a very little salt and pepper. Cook gently for 10 minutes, then cool. (This much can be done in advance and stored in the refrigerator). Using a wooden spoon, stir in the feta and eggs.

Butter a 9 x 12 x 3-inch baking pan and in it spread 6 filo sheets, brushing each with melted butter. Pour in the spinach filling, then cover with the remaining filo sheets (buttering each as before). Tuck the top filo over the bottom and flute the edges. Score the top 3 filo sheets into square or diamond shapes. Bake in a moderate oven (350 F) for 40 minutes, or until crisp and a golden chestnut color.

Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve warm.

Note: Some of the favorite variations: Use some nutmeg, or substitute mint for the dill; use grated cheese instead of feta (be discreet with the salt if the cheese is salty); add a small handful of raw long-grain white rice to the filling. You will surely invent your own flavor combinations which is why spanakopita is so great.

From: "The Food of Greece" by Vilma Liacouras Chantiles. Avenel Books, New York.

Typed for you by Karen Mintzias

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