My boyfriend and I were trying to come up with something to make for dinner on Sunday. I wanted something vegetable-y so he suggested spanakopita. Am I concerned that he considers a phyllo pasty(!) layered with butter(!!) and stuffed with a cheese(!!!)/spinach mix healthy? Yes, yes I am. But I agreed. Because spanakopita is awesome.
We decided to make ours into a log shape because we are lazy and we thought the spinach-to-pastry ratio might make it healthier. We continued with the being lazy trend and used frozen spinach.
It was super-delicious. And other than the butter-layering monotony that is phyllo, it really wasn't that much work. There are some things to consider. Keep your butter warm while working because as it cools, it thickens, so our phyllo was (dare I say it) a little too buttery. Also, my boyfriend sucked at layering phyllo. He acknowledged it and chalked it up to "girl-skills"; so if you believe in the natural-born ability of women to make a flawless bed, wrap gifts beautifully, and make a perfect sandwich, then be aware that this particular phenomenon applies also to phyllo-layering.
We took the recipe from Epicurious but messed with it a bit. We added extra spinach, the juice of half a lemon, and an egg. I highly recommend these adaptations. As well, it was a bit salty. So based on a tip I saw online, next time I think I will substitute 1/3 or 1/2 the feta with cottage cheese. The end result was still great. It was spinachy and moist, and the lemon really brightened it up. Plus, the leftovers were fantastic.
Adapted from Epicurious.com
1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lb baby spinach (or 10 oz frozen)
1/2 lb feta, crumbled (scant 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
10 (17- by 12-inch) phyllo sheets, thawed if frozen