Do you remember that part of Julie and Julia where Julia states, “Is there anything better than butter? Think it over, any time you taste something that’s delicious beyond imagining and you say ‘what’s in this?’ the answer is always going to be butter. The day there is a meteorite rushing toward Earth and we have thirty days to live, I am going to spend it eating butter. Here is my final word on the subject, you can never have too much butter.” This delicious, flaky, cheesy, spinach filled recipe has an entire cup of butter in it and it’s amazing. It is for this reason that Julia, and you, will love this recipe.
Alex is Greek and this is one of the dishes I know he loves best, so it only seemed appropriate that I go to his yia yia (grandmother) in search of the perfect recipe for it. She sent this recipe over and I couldn’t be more pleased with it!
It’s really rather easy to make. The hardest part is being incredibly careful with the tissue thin sheets of phyllo dough. It’s okay if they tear a little since they’re going to shatter when your fork collides with them, but you don’t want them torn to pieces. Other than that, it’s simple: layer, brush, layer, brush and so on. This is perfect for an indulgent side dish or appetizer and, while it’s still tasty the next day, it’s best when it’s freshly made and the phyllo is still crispy.
makes 12 servings
1/2 package (8 ounces) phyllo pastry leaves
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
3 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup butter, melted
Let pastry leaves warm to room temperature for two hours. Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a medium skillet, add the onion and saute until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir to combine with the onion. Remove from heat. In large bowl, whisk the eggs. Stir in the cheese, parsley, dill, salt, pepper, and spinach-onion mixture. Mix well. Brush a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan lightly with some of the melted butter. Unwrap the package of phyllo sheets and cut the batch in half so that each sheet is roughly the same size as your pan. In bottom of the baking pan, layer 8 of the phyllo-pastry leaves, one by one, brushing the top of each with the melted butter. Spread the spinach mixture evenly. Top with the remaining phyllo leaves, brushing each with melted butter. Bake about 30-35 minutes or until the phyllo is a golden brown. Serve warm.