Greek Spinach Pie
Like most people, I have a really hard time choosing a favorite food. There are way too many delicious things in the world to pick just one and mine are always changing. But after making Greek Spinach Pie (also known as spanakopita) a couple weeks ago, I’m convinced I could eat it every day!
Creating the Recipe
I tried a lot of different versions of Greek Spinach Pie before settling on the recipe I’ll share below. Authentic spanakopita uses phyllo dough, but when I made some at home, I couldn’t roll it thin enough and it didn’t turn out. Now, I use my grandma’s famous pie crust which is flaky, buttery, and never fails.
A lot of other recipes for Greek Spinach Pie use an egg. Since I’m allergic I’ve tried both aquafaba and flax eggs. I found that the aquafaba didn’t do much and the flax egg makes it kind of slimy. When I tried leaving it out all together, it worked just fine and had a much better texture!
So what actually goes into the filling? A LOT of spinach. 18 cups (24 ounces) to be exact! I know it’s a lot, but you’ll be surprised at how much it reduces. I also have very deep pie plates so it looks empty if I make less filling. The other ingredients are butter/olive oil, onion, garlic, feta, Parmesan, and dill.
How to Make the Filling
First, I melt some butter in very large skillet, add some olive oil, and sauté a diced onion and minced garlic. When the onion is translucent, I add in the spinach. Even in my big skillet, I have to add it gradually or else it won’t all fit. As the first part reduces, I add some more until it is all wilted. Then, I transfer the wilted spinach to a large bowl and add the feta, parmesan, dill, and any other herbs I have around. Then, I add Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and set it aside to cool.
It’s very important that you use freshly crumbled/grated cheese. Pre-shredded cheeses are covered in anticaking agents, cellulose, and all sorts of sketchy ingredients–read the label the next time you grocery shop! Not only do these things denature the purity of the cheese, but they also negatively affect taste and texture. Do yourself a favor and crumble/grate cheese at home!
Grandma’s Famous Pie Crust
Grandma Trish’s famous pie crust is a critical component to any Greek Spinach Pie! To make the crust, all you need is flour, cold butter, salt, and ice cold water. (Actually she uses shortening, but I am deeply opposed to the use of industrial fats and use butter instead.) I also chose to use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose. It contains more fiber and nutrients and helps make a heartier pie.
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Then, use a cheese grater to grate the butter into the bowl. Use your hands to mix it in and break it up further. When all the butter is spread throughout in pea-sized pieces, add the water one tablespoon at a time until it all comes together.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out in a circle until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the crust to a 9 inch pie plate and press it into the bottom. Cut off any excess crust hanging over the side of the plate before crimping the edges with your fingers.
Transfer the Greek Spinach Pie filling into the pie plate and spread it out evenly. Add additional Parmesan if desired. Bake for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees or until the crust turns golden brown. Let cool before slicing to serve. I hope you enjoy this Greek Spinach Pie! Let me know what you think in the comments below. Happy baking!