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spanakopita (veg version AND vegan version!)

October 24, 2012

VEGETARIAN VERSION

1 onion chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup green onion chopped
250 gr chopped dark greens (like spinach, lamb’s quarter, etc.)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 cup grated feta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 stick butter
1 package phyllo pastry sheets
a few t dried oregano
a few T minced parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Defrost phyllo. Assemble the filling. In a large skillet heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft. Add the spinach and salt and pepper and saute until the spinach is limp. Add the lemon juice, and remove off the heat. Let cool.
If there is excess liquid, place the mixture in a colander and squeeze out the excess liquid. So make sure the mixture is completely cooled, otherwise it’s going to make the phyllo dough soggy, and you don’t want soggy spanakopita. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with feta and nutmeg then add this to the spinach mixture and mix until it’s all incorporated well together.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and brush 2 baking sheets with some melted butter. Now for handling the phyllo dough, unroll it and lay one sheet flat on your work surface. For the remaining phyllo dough, cover it with a damp towel, so it won’t dry out. Brush the sheet with melted butter, then sprinkle some oregano. Now here you can repeat with 2 more sheets or 1 more sheet. I have tried with both and find that if I use 3 sheets, it gets to be too much phyllo for me, so I only repeat with one more sheet, so I have two sheets one on top of the other with melted butter and oregano on both.

NOT LAZY WAY:
Using a pizza cutter, cut the sheets lengthwise into 4 long pieces, about 2 inch strips. Place a heaping tsp of the spinach and cheese filling near 1 corner of the phyllo strip. Fold the end at an angle over the filling to form a triangle. Continue to fold the triangle along the strip until you reach the end, like folding a flag. Repeat this with the remaining phyllo and filling. Like I said it’s pretty easy to make, just a bit time consuming.
Place your spanakopita triangles on your baking sheets and brush with butter. Bake them for 20 to 30 minutes until the triangles are golden brown and crisp.

LAZY WAY:
build like a lasagna. follow directions otherwise, alternating between butter-brushed pastry sheets and filling.

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adapted from from jocooks

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VEGAN VERSION

3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 lb fresh spinach, stemmed, washed, and coarsely chopped
a few T fresh parsley, minced
1 pkg silken tofu, firm
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
a few grinds of fresh pepper
pinch of nutmeg
A bunch of fillo dough, thawed
1/2 cup of margarine, melted

Thaw phyllo. Sautee onion over medium heat in olive oil. Add spinach by the handful. When spinach has released its liquid, switch to higher heat and add in parsley. Cook until most of the water is gone.

Mash tofu and flavorings together with a fork until pebbly and mix in spinach.

Unroll fillo. The trick with fillo is don’t panic. It never unrolls right and it’s always stuck together. Trim off about an inch all the way around. Use scissors or something. Cover it up with a dry dishtowel to keep it from drying out. Putting a slightly damp dishtowel over that is even better.

Now here’s the frustrating part: take a sheet of fillo and lay it in a lightly oiled 9×13 pan. Yes, I know it’s like all sticking together and stuff, just slowly peel it apart. Ok, now brush it lightly all over with margarine. Look, it’s gonna tear, ok? You just have to deal with it. Just take a deep breath and put in seven more layers, brushing each. Was that so hard? Now put in the filling, spreading it all the way to the edges. You’re half-way done! Eight more layers, margarine on the top, roll the edges down, you are now a fillo dough pro. Take a sharp knife and cut into squares. Don’t cut all the way through the bottom layer though.

Now you gotta put it in the fridge for like half an hour. Good time to clean up the huge mess you made. 375F.

Bake for about 45 minutes until golden.

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from waste.org

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10/30
made both the veg and vegan version. added two eggs to the vegan version, since my mostly vegan housemates eat eggs. both versions were absolutely incredible. i was surprised how long it took to assemble – and how expensive the dish is to make! $5 for phyllo, $8 for greens out of season, $5 for feta? then you have to wait hours for the phyllo to defrost. then brush each sheet with butter – irritating, time-consuming, and too inviting for the kitten to resist nibbling the ends of the pastry sheets. by the end of the preparation, i had decided never to make it again.

i reversed my decision immediately upon tasting it. crunchy on top, creamy and flavorful inside, hearty and salty, major comfort food. i thought the vegan version was just ok, but my housemates raved about it. i much preferred the vegetarian version – feta and butter make up most of the flavor. if you don’t care for the taste of margarine, stick with real butter.

highly, highly recommended for anyone who likes very buttery, impressive-looking vegetarian food and has the time to spare. i will absolutely definitely make this again – for the holidays or another special occasion.

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2 comments

  1. Hi there, You have done a great job. I’ll definitely digg it and for my part recommend to my friends. I am sure they will be benefited from this website.


  2. Spread the spinach mixture over the phyllo. Top with 8 more sheets brushing each one with butter and oil, including the top layer. If there are excess sheets on the sides cut with a sharp knife. (I folded all the excess on that itself). Preheat the oven to 375 deg F. If you feel it is not easy to handle, refrigerate for 30 minutes or cut the squares in the pan itself carefully not to disturb the spinach mixture. Spray some water on top. Bake the pie until crisp and golden , about 30 minutes.



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