Ok, confession time. Even though I eat almost exclusively vegetarian (a little fish) and try to buy local food (even in winter), I am not one of those people who can just dig into a big pile of slimy cooked greens. Nope, not happening. When we joined our CSA a couple of seasons ago and got flooded with chard, kale, mizuna, and other crazy crinkly green stuff, I had to find some creative solutions, and this remains one of my favorites.
This recipe had its genesis in The Joy of Cooking, my all-time pick for only cookbook I’d take to a desert island. It is totally its own creature now.
Makes one 9 x 12 pan, or similar size
Preheat oven to 375
Get 1 bunch spinach, kale, chard, or un-identified green from CSA (as long as it’s the kind you cook)
Wash and stem this, my favorite method is to grab the stem with one hand and pull the leafy stuff off with the other hand. Put the stemmed greens in a pot with a steamer basket and some water in the bottom. Bring the water to a boil and then turn it down to medium – low heat, let the water simmer until the greens are bright green and relaxed.
Meanwhile, finely chop ½ large onion and 1 large garlic clove
Saute the onion in olive oil over medium heat in a small skillet or pan until it just starts to have a golden color. Add the garlic and stir and cook for about another minute.
Put the onion and garlic in a bowl.
When the greens are done, use tongs to transfer them to a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped (or how you like them). Add them to the onion bowl.
Also add to the bowl:
– About 8 oz feta cheese – the real sheep feta is awesome if you can find it!
– A little more cheese – parmesan or Greek hard cheese is traditional, but I like to use a hard goat cheese. I put in a couple tablespoons, but you can vary to taste. If you use the really nice feta, don’t put in so much other cheese that it overwhelms the flavor.
– 4 eggs
– A few grinds of black pepper – the cheese is salty enough for me so I don’t add any more salt
Mix this all together.
Melt (I like to just drop it in the onion pan) 2 Tablespoons butter
Get out your thawed frozen phyllo dough
You may need to cut the phyllo sheets in half. If so, tightly wrap what’s left and put it back in the fridge. Working quickly, brush a little butter in the pan, lay down a sheet, lightly brush it with butter, lay down the next sheet, etc. until you have used 8 – 10 sheets or half your stack. Spread on the filling, then repeat with the rest of the phyllo sheets. If you have some butter left, spread more on the top sheet or two. Cut the spanakopita into pieces through the top layer of dough, then put in the oven and bake until the top is golden and the filling looks solid where you cut it, about 40 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, cut through the bottom, and enjoy!