Egyptian Spinach Spanakopita

Egyptian spinach — a Middle Eastern leafy green high in vitamin and mineral content — is the star of this delectable spanakopita recipe. Spanakopita is a traditional Greek dish with spinach and feta cheese wrapped in phyllo pastry. It is typically served as an appetizer or a main dish and the spinach and cheese filling is seasoned with herbs and spices, giving it a delicious flavor and aroma.

Egyptian Spinach Spanakopita Recipe

Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp garlic, minced
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup red onion
1 lb fresh Egyptian spinach leaves, roughly chopped
8 oz fresh feta (goat milk if available)
2 tbsp za’atar spice blend
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 package phyllo sheets
1 cup melted butter
Sesame seeds for garnish, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. For the filling, sauté garlic in olive oil until lightly browned and add onions after. Cook until translucent for about 4-5 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  2. In a bowl, combine spinach mixture with feta cheese and za’atar spice. Mix thoroughly and taste to adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add beaten egg and mix until combined.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Lay out a phyllo sheet with the long end facing you and brush with melted butter. Add another layer and brush again with melted butter. Divide into 3 even wide strips and cut along vertically. Repeat for the remaining phyllo sheets adjusting to the quantity of filling.
  5. Place about a tablespoon or less of filling at the end of a strip. Fold over into a triangle shape covering the filling with enough borders of the phyllo sheet. Repeat folding over until the end of the sheet and brush with melted butter at the end to help keep slightly sealed.
  6. Place spanakopita on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Put the last folded side at the bottom to keep it sealed while baking. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until deep golden brown. Serve while still hot. The filling can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe by Rafe Vencio/ Photography by Laura Petrilla

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