Spanakopita, made by a Colombian

Spanakopita, made by a Colombian

Back in the 1970s, when my mother was new in this country she and her brothers lived above a Greek family. The week would start like this, the Greek husband would put $500 on the table on Monday for spending money for his wife and then march off to work. The Greek wife would march upstairs to my mother’s apartment and ask my grandmother to drive the Greek wife to Bloomingdales and Macy’s. After the trip to buy clothes she did not need, the Greek wife would come home and spend the day in front of her mirror. As a thank you the Greek husband would give my grandparents food from his restaurants and teach my mother how to cook Greek food. The experience gave my Colombian mother a deep love of all things Greek. 

One of our family favorites is Greek spinach pie. Spanakopita. One can make the crust with phyllo dough or with a store-bought pie crust, depending on your desire for both authenticity and/or flavour. Below I’ve put the recipe as told to me by my mother, with phyllo dough. 

What you’ll need: 

  • Phyllo dough
  • 2 lbs spinach frozen 
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 lb mozzarella cheese 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/4 onion (really its to taste. We are not overly fond of onions here). 
  • Pinch of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil 
  • 1/2 stick of butter 

What you’ll do:

  1. Heat oven to 375. 
  2. Boil frozen spinach. 
  3. Drain.
  4. Mix spinach, onion, garlic, mozzarella, & ricotta.
  5. Mix in eggs. 
  6. Place layer of phyllo dough on 9 × 13 buttered pan. 
  7. Add thin layer of spinach mixture.
  8. Add another layer of phyllo dough.
  9. Repeat steps 6 & 7 until all mixture & phyllo dough is in pan.
  10. Brush melted butter over top layer pf phyllo dough.
  11. Place in oven for 1 hour. 
  12. Let cool.
  13. Once cool, cut into squares or triangles.
  14. Enjoy!

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