It All Started with Spanakopita!
Hello friends! I hope you are having a good day despite the things that are happening around the world, especially with the COVID-19 virus. I would like to just say at least we have our health and we are on this earth. Things could be worse, so take the time to spend with family and friends.
Many people ask me where did your love for the cooking start, more specifically the Greek cuisine? Well, it all started with spanakopita. Read all about it below and do try out my unique spanakopita recipe.
It All Started with Spanakopita
My dear friends from Thess Del Food are doing a write up on me and my second cookbook and they asked me a question that made me think how my love for cooking started? It started with one specific Greek pie which is “spanakopita.” Spanakopita is known as the spinach feta pie from Greece. It can be made basic with spinach, feta, and some herbs like dill and mint, or it can be upgraded like the recipe I will share with you all. I like to say my spanakopita is a hybrid of “prasopita” and spanakopita combined.
The story is simple but a beautiful one. A little 6-year-old American Greek girl watched her parents cook up a storm in the kitchen and they made many unique Greek dishes some that included lamb on the spit, soutzoukakia, pastitsio, tiropita, spanakopita, lemon patates, and much more. But one specific dish caught my eye, and that was spanakopita. The aromas of spinach, dill, mint, leeks, and feta all lingered in the air. I was super fascinated to watch my parents use phyllo dough and brush the sheets with butter and olive oil that I wanted to make my spanakopita at age 7.
I owe all my gratitude to spanakopita and my parents for showing me that my passion is cooking. Don’t give up your passions, or your dreams instead try to fulfill them. It’s never easy to follow that path, but once you do I promise your life will be in a happy place. My family always asks me to bring spanakopita to any holiday event, and most of my customers will say I want that spanakopita again. I am really happy my love or as we say in Greek “psihi” soul, shines through my spanakopita. Don’t forget to put love in each dish you make and I promise in the end THE RESULTS WILL BE DELICIOUS.
I did make millions of spanakopita recipes before I made this one, so here you go my friends! Give it a try and let me know your thoughts. 🙂
In my second cookbook A Drop of Ladi & My Greek Soul I show you how to make (3) different kinds of savory pies. Check out the book here.
Σπανακόπιτα- Greek Spinach Pie [Spanakopita]
Yield: 25 pieces
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 6 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 large leek
- 3 pounds fresh spinach
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tsp of cumin
- 1/2 cup basil, minced
- 1/2 cup anise, minced
- 1/2 cup parsley, minced
- 1/2 cup mint, minced
- 6 ounces feta cheese
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
- 1 package phyllo
- Optional- Sesame seeds
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add your garlic, fresh herbs, scallions, and leeks. Cook, stirring, until scallions and leeks are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Cook your spinach on medium heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add it to your herbs’ mixture. Add feta to your spinach and herb mixture. Make sure it has cooled down before you add in your beaten eggs. Mix in the condensed milk and whisk. Now add in your salt, pepper, and cumin. Set aside in the fridge.
- Brush a large baking dish with butter. Trim the phyllo to the size of the pan. Work quickly and keep the remaining phyllo covered with a plastic wrap, topped with a warm towel to keep it moist: place one sheet of phyllo on the baking dish you’ve prepared and brushed it with butter; top with another sheet. Repeat the process until you have 10 sheets of phyllo in the baking dish.
- When you have used half the phyllo sheets, pour the spinach mixture into the dish. Add the remaining layers of phyllo over the top.
- Make sure you brush the top layer with butter or olive oil. Score the top phyllo layers in triangles. If you want to use sesame seeds, sprinkle a bit over the top of the phyllo before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 375 ◦F degrees. Cook for about 45 minutes, until the phyllo is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool.
Some tips when making a delicious spanakopita!
- I like to use a mixture of spinach and swiss chard for a rich flavor of greens! Most of the time I will do this to give it a heartier green taste.
- You can use a mixture of butter and olive oil if you like to brush the phyllo sheets. This too will give your sheets a rich flavor.
- Sprinkle white or black sesame seeds over the top!
- Use as many fresh herbs as you possibly can! The more the merrier.
I hope you guys enjoy and don’t forget to tag us on Instagram so I can share your Kouzounas Kitchen creations. Use the hashtag- kouzounaskitchenrecipes.
“My life would never be the same without a good spanakopita on the beach while listening to the Greek waves.” -Krystina
** Come join us this Friday, April 3rd for a fun and exciting LIVE feature on Instagram at 1:30 PST with Mikaela from A Blonde In The Crowd blog. We will be cooking up a delicious rizogalo and answering some questions about the cookbook! 🙂