Basil Spinach Pie (Spanakopita)

Thanks for visiting this very first entry in what should be considered a visual timeline of my own growth through the seasons. Growth from the ground up, growth in the exploration of flavors and culinary aptitude, and growth in community coming together around the table; to dine, to talk, and to build relationships with one another. I want to give you a taste of what is to come in both literal and written context. This blog will evolve around the themes of these three words; Grow, Food, Community. Mix them up, shake them around, put them together and you’ll begin to understand the premise of Growth by the Season.

My name is Tricia and I have a passion for food that’s blended with an incredible appreciation for the community that exists because of it. From farm to table, people and food intertwine. It is because of this that Growth by the Season has begun to take shape. You can expect recipes straight from my kitchen as I continue exploring my own culinary journey. You’ll be introduced to the farms I visit to get my hands in the dirt and the growth of my own garden as spring comes back around. The people and community will always be present and often highlighted in instances of inspiration.

For the literal taste we’ll start off with a recipe. A Grecian number I debuted at my boyfriend’s mother’s home not too long ago, and one that was gratefully responded to with high remarks!

Basil & Spinach Pie

Preheat Oven: 350 degrees

Prep Time: 20 Min

Cooking Time: 25 Min

Serves 4

ingredients

  • 1/2 pound of phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1/3 cup of oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • generous pinch of salt
  • generous pinch of pepper
  • 1/4 cup of basil, finely chopped
  • 12 oz bag of fresh spinach
  • 1 bunch of green onions, ends and tips tossed, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, diced
  • 10 oz great feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 12 tbsp butter, melted

First, a delicious smelling onion & garlic oil is your task. Start with your olive oil in a pan at medium heat and once the oil is warmed add your chopped red onion & scallions. As they become tender add garlic to the mixture, letting it cook to a light golden brown, being extra careful not to burn.

Wilt spinach & basil in the pan by adding 1 half portion at a time, stirring thoroughly until all spinach is tender when you’ll scrape the contents of the pan into a small bowl to cool.

As that sweet smelling garlic spinach cools down just a bit, grab a larger bowl and whisk together your eggs and feta cheese, LOTS of feta cheese. Spanakopita is nothing without this deliciously cheesy component so overindulgence is absolutely recommended. Add the contents of the spinach bowl into the larger bowl and mix together. Add the salt & pepper to taste and Viola! the creamy  & satisfying filling for your pie.

Now for the construction: Melt butter to use almost as a binding paste. Phyllo dough is very temperamental. It will crumble and become fragile easily, so when you open it up cover its entirety with a towel. Brush a light coating of butter along the walls of  your baking pan. You will need to lightly butter each sheet of phyllo dough you add to the pie, first placing six sheets down at the bottom of your pan. Once you have six down, spread a portion of the spinach and cheese mixture evenly over the top. Repeat these layering steps with six more sheets of phyllo dough (remembering to butter every one) followed by the rest of the filling. You’ll place a layer of eight more sheets of phyllo to the top to finish the pie!

Bake for 25-28 minutes until you have a golden brown, buttery flaky crust on top. Mmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! oh yeah, Make some and air mail me a piece while you’re at it, those are my final instructions. I would devour a slice of spanakopita for lunch!

Happy cooking times my dear friends!

love, tricia

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3 thoughts on “Basil Spinach Pie (Spanakopita)

  1. I am so excited to follow your adventures in cooking and to learn from you. You are a beautiful writer and have an even more beautiful spirit! Love you and good luck on this adventure. So thankful to be along for the ride :)

    xoxo,
    Karrin

  2. I’m so proud of you! I love this and your writing makes me smile as I read it (love the feta cheese comment) . I can’t wait to try this sometime and read more of your posts! :)

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