My husband thinks this meal is fabulous, especially the combination of the Spanakopita and the salad. He loved it so much that he went back for more AFTER having dessert. Once you prepare the filling (which can be done the day before), it’s quite easy and quick to put together.
I have adapted some of the concepts from America’s Test Kitchen but this is based heavily on the way my mom makes it. One of the those concepts is to spread Pecorino Romano cheese on the top phyllo sheets, except for the last two. This stops the top phyllo sheets to fall off when it is sliced.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 small leeks, finely chopped
- 3 pounds frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 4 medium scallions, sliced thin
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 5 tablespoons milk
- 1 package phyllo sheets
- 8 scant tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
- If your 1 packet of frozen spinach is 10 ounces, then you can just use three of those.
- You can add a bit more or less of the ricotta cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut 20 sheets of phyllo the size of your baking dish. This could be 9 x 13 in or similar in size. If your package doesn’t come with 20 sheets of phyllo, you can put together the cut up pieces to make one layer. Once you cut the phyllo sheets, you’ll need to cover them with plastic wrap and a moist towel so it doesn’t dry out.
then layer it phyllo dough, brush it, then sprinkle it with a scant tablespoon of Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese. Repeat with 7 more layers. Continue with the last two layers but this time do not sprinkle the cheese on it. Don’t forget to brush the last layer. If you happen to run out of the butter / milk mixture, then just melt an additional tablespoon or so of extra butter and combine it with the same amount of milk.
Cannellini and Tomato Salad
- 1 15 ounce can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 medium scallions, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup minced parsley leaves
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil