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Spanakopita

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Replace that boring green bean casserole with this tasty Mediterranean inspired dish this holiday. Spanakopita is a scrumptious spinach and feta pie found on many Greek tables this time of year. Our version adds some vibrant Swiss chard and a touch of red pepper to create a rich, relatively healthy, totally delicious side that will have everyone lining up for seconds. We also opted to use a regular pastry crust because, let’s face it, the holidays can be a hectic time. But if you’re feeling adventurous, filo is the traditional way to go. Either way, you can try it in a baking dish, or wrap it up as individual pies for a tasty appetizer.

Serves 8

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 90 minutes Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion

1 shallot

3 teaspoons garlic paste

1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

Juice from ½ a lemon

8 oz. fresh baby spinach

8 oz. Swiss chard leaves (or another 8 oz. of spinach)

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon fresh marjoram (heaping ¼ teaspoon dried)

1 teaspoon fresh oregano (heaping ¼ teaspoon dried)

1 teaspoon fresh thyme (heaping ¼ teaspoon dried)

4 eggs lightly beaten

6 - 8 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Pastry crust

2 tablespoons melted butter

Directions

1. Set the oven to 375 degrees and prepare ingredients. Dice the onion and mince the shallot. Zest and juice the lemon. Rinse and roughly chop the spinach and chard discarding any tough stems. Mince the fresh herbs.

2. For the filling, heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and shallots. Cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic paste and cook 1 minute more. Add the lemon zest and juice and stir to combine.

3. Add the spinach and chard. This can be done in phases if the pan is not large enough. Cook the greens until wilted and any released liquid has evaporated, anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. Transfer mixture into large mixing bowl. If you are finding the liquid is not evaporating in a reasonable amount of time, use a slotted spoon to transfer.

4. Let the mixture cool slightly then add the red pepper flakes, marjoram, oregano, thyme, and feta. Stir to combine. Add the eggs when the mixture has cooled little more. Mix thoroughly.

5. Prepare the crust. Using a deep dish pie pan or 8x8 baking dish, arrange one portion of pastry like a traditional bottom crust. Press into the corners.

7. Add the filling, making sure it is level and reaches all the corners.

8. Place the remaining pastry on top and tuck in or crimp in a normal crust pattern all the way around. Brush with melted butter.

10. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

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