Sheets of buttery, flakey phyllo dough are wrapped around a savory spinach filling with lots of feta, bright lemon, and toasted pine nuts. The end result is something that is both wholesome and comforting.
I had the unique experience of growing up in a multicultural home. There were a lot of Mediterranean influences growing up naturally when you have Italian and Greek parents. Needless to say, there was also a lot of fusion food, so I grew up with deep appreciation for a variety of cultures.
Today's recipe was one I grew up loving. It was something traditionally made around the holiday season. My mother had her own variation- a creamy combination of ricotta and feta with shavings of fresh nutmeg. This recipe is my own take. Debatably a bit more traditional than the one I grew up on, but delicious all the same.
I've seen a lot of variations of Spanakopita around the web. I've seen it made into bars, diamonds, individual triangles, some make it with puff pastry others even made calzones.
I have a vision early on to make an actual pie, baked in a cast iron pan with golden layers of phyllo hanging over the sides.
As for the filling itself I drew inspiration from the more classical recipes. I grew up with a creamy filling. My mother would add ricotta cheese to the mixture which is quite common. Cottage cheese is also a popular addition. Today's recipe is a bit more simplified. With only feta, gratings of fresh lemon and nutmeg, and a secret ingredient- toasted pine nuts which lends a rich, nutty flavor to the pie.
To finish it off, I sprinkled it with toasted sesame seeds, then baked it until the phyllo sheets turned a deep golden color around the crust.
There are some recipes that just never get old to me and this happens to be one of them. Maybe its the memories this recipe evokes that makes it even more delicious.
It's a dish I know that departed loved ones would be proud of and so this is in their memory. I hope you try it soon and enjoy it as much as I do.Print 3