Spanakopita with an Arab touch

June 14, 2017 , Haiya

This recipe for Spanakopita is sponsored by Emborg. The recipe and all the opinions within the post are my own. 

Greek Spanakopita is something I’ve always wanted to make at home. I love working with phyllo sheets, and am a fool in love with those crispy golden brown ruffles on top. Also, spinach and feta cheese are a match made in heaven, and both are ingredients after my own heart. Anytime there is spinach in just about anything though, I cannot help but crave spinach fatayer, and want to make my spinach taste the same- nice and tart! It should come as no surprise then, that I decided to make Greek Spanakopita with an Arab touch, and of course some zaatar!

I get most creative and inspired when I try to work with the ingredients I have on hand. Last week, I received an exciting mystery box of Emborg frozen organic vegetables. This box contained Garden Peas, Chopped Spinach, and mixed vegetables, and while the my mind was spinning with the almost endless possibilities, I decided to go through my wet and dry pantry to see what I have on hand that I can work with first. I saw an unopened pack of phyllo sheets in my freezer and boom- I knew it’s time, and the first thing I’m going to put this treasure chest of veggies to use with will be Spanakopita!

Contrary to popular belief, this pie looks like it requires a lot of skill and time, but it’s one of the easiest and most effortless things I’ve ever made. The best part is how perfect is is for Ramadan, because it makes 1. It makes no difference whether you use fresh spinach in this or frozen, especially when the recipe calls for wilting (of course it really helps that the Emborg frozen spinach is organic, nutritious and tastes absolutely delicious with a rich, fresh taste) and 2. You can prepare this pie, freeze it, and just pop it in for baking when you’re ready to serve/eat it. You don’t even need to wait for it to thaw first!

If you’re still not sold on this (I can’t imagine why and how that’s even possible though), then here’s the winner: this is actually quite a healthy dish! Packed with veggies, each slice is roughly around 200 calories only!

Here is my recipe for Arab inspired Spanakopita:

  • 400 grams Emborg Chopped Spinach
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3-4 cloves of chopped garlic
  •  1/4 cup zaatar
  • 2 stalks spring onions
  • 1 cup roughly chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt to season
  • Pepper to season
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 6-8 phyllo sheets
  • 1/2 cup clarified butter
  • 1/2 cup Butter or cooking spray
  • Sesame seeds to sprinkled on top

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. In a thick bottomed pan, heat the oil. Add red onions, garlic, and sauté until they have softened.
  3. Add in spinach, spring onions, zaatar, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, salt, and pepper. Cook on medium-high flame to dry out all excess water. Keep stirring to avoid burning or sticking.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Mix in egg and feta.
  5. Line baking dish with clarified butter, and place phyllo sheet on top. Then line the phyllo sheet with clarified butter and place another phyllo sheet on top. Allow excess phyllo edges to hang over the edges of the dish. Repeat this process until you have 4 phyllo sheets layered on top of each other.
  6. Dum the spinach mixture on top of the phyllo layers, then fold the excess edges over the top of the spinach mixture.
  7. Take remaining phyllo sheets, crumple them up like tissue paper and place them on top of the spinach till all the spinach is covered.
  8. Spray butter or cooking spray on top, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until it’s golden brown.

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