Spinach Feta Pie (Greek Spanokopitta or Turkish Borek)

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I am quite proud of how this turned out.  Mike and i both loved eating this during our travels through Greece, Turkey, Crete, and Cyprus, and it was all over the place in Azerbaijan.  Mediterranean cooks are so creative with their greens!  Anyway, I’m happy to say that the attempt at making it at home was successful.  Now we can eat it even here in Africa, which is fortunately full of greens too!

400 grams of spinach or other sturdy greens, washed, dried and chopped

12 green onions, white and green parts, chopped

1 cup of parsley, chopped

1/4 cup dill, chopped (or more if you really like dill)

400 grams feta cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper

500 gram package of phyllo pastry sheets

Cook spinach and green onions in a few teaspoons of olive oil until all the moisture is gone.  It seems like a lot, but you know spinach.  Add the parsley, dill, freshly ground pepper and salt to taste.  Mash the feta with a fork in a large bowl, then add the greens and mix everything together.  Set aside while you get the phyllo part done.

Brush a 13 x 9 inch pan with butter, or whatever shape baking dish you like.  I like my red, oval Le Creuset.  Following the directions on the package, place one full sheet of phyllo in the dish with ends draping over the sides.  Layer 8-10 more sheets on top, cutting each sheet to fit the dish and brushing each one with milk or olive oil.  I alternated milk and olive oil between sheets.  On top of the last sheet, spread the spinach topping evenly, making sure to get the corners.  Then layer an additional 8-10 sheets over the top, leaving the last sheet full to fold over and form a nice edge.  Brush the top with milk or olive oil to make it look pretty and brown when it’s done baking.  I learned the milk trick from a Turkish friend, but use whatever you like best.

Chill for 30 minutes and then score the top four layers of phyllo sheets into squares to make it easier to cut later.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden.  You could always increase the ingredients to make the filling thicker or the top more crusty and dramatic, but judging by the way Eli and Jake devoured it, I guess it turned out pretty good for a first try!

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