Fresh Idea Friday was started by my friend Lisa. It is a terrific way of sharing tips and advice. Today, Lisa thought we should share a favorite recipe source and maybe a recipe. It's no secret I love to cook and bake. I have tons of cookbooks. I love getting new ones and can spend hours reading them. Some of my favorites are Italian Farmhouse Cooking and Food of the world: Greece. Greek and Italian food is my favorite. Not only is the food delicious, but authentic Greek and Italian cooking relies on fresh, usually seasonal produce. The meals are simple and healthy. Served with a bottle of wine and some company, eating Mediterranean food is an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. My favorite recipe (and Grainne's, too) is spanakopita (from Food of the World: Greece) It might seem intimidating, but give it a try. It is really very simple to make and keeps beautifully. I normally serve it with a simple salad, hummus with vegetables and some chicken kebobs. It is the perfect summer meal.
Serves 6 (these are really big pieces, though!)
2 Tb olive oil
1 large onion, chopped finely
2 lb fresh spinach leaves, washed or 1 lb 2oz frozen, thawed (I've only ever used fresh)
4 tb chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tb chopped fresh dill
3 beaten eggs
7 oz Greek feta cheese
Salt and pepper
3 1/2 oz butter
8 oz phyllo dough
To make filling, heat oil in saucepan, add onion and fry for 5-10 min (I usually add a couple TB of water- this will keep the onion from burning and the water will evaporate) until softened. Add spinach and cook 2-5 min. until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool. When the mixture has cooled add parsley, dill and eggs. Crumble in cheese, season with salt and pepper and mix well together. Melt butter and use a little to lightly grease a deep 12 by 8 inch pan. Cut pastry sheets in half. Take one sheet and cover remaining sheets with damp dishtowel (to prevent phyllo from drying out- this is very important). Line pan with sheet and brush with a little melted butter. Repeat with half of pastry sheets, brushing each with butter. Spread spinach and cheese filling over pastry, then top with remaining pastry sheets, brushing each with butter and tucking down edges. Using a sharp knife, score top layers of pastry (into as many squares as you want). Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 40 min., until golden brown. Can be served hot or cold.