The Greeks love spinach and dough. You will find this combination in pies called “spanakopita” as well as in deep fried raviolis called “kalitsouni”.
You can find here my recipe for a wonderful spanakopita:
Ingredients for 15-20 portions
for the dough (phyllo):
- 300g all-purpose flour
- 5 tbsps olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 130-150g water (1/2- 3/4 of a cup)
for the filling:
- 5 spring onions, finely chopped
- 500g spinach, washed and roughly chopped
- 200g feta cheese, crumbled
- 1-2 tbsps fresh dill, chopped (optional)
- extra virgin Greek olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Make the phyllo dough first, by mixing all the ingredients. Once the dough reaches the desired consistency cut it in balls (slightly larger than a table tennis ball), coat lightly with olive oil, wrap with some plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 45-60 minutes. This is essential, so that the dough softens and you can roll it easily.
- Place one ball of dough on a floured surface and coat your rolling pin with some flour. Make a circle of dough with your hands. Use the rolling pin to roll out the dough, until it becomes a very thin round sheet.
- When the dough is ready , heat the oven to 200 C.
- Prepare the filling for this spanakopita recipe by mixing the spring onions, the spinach, the feta cheese and the dill in a large bowl.
- Fill in the sheets of dough with the spinach mixture and roll them into long sausage forms.
- Sprinkle a 30 cm round pan with olive oil and put the sausage formed sheets of dough into the pan in a snail pattern. Keep going with the rest of the sheets.
- Brush the top of the spanakopita with olive oil and butter.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes until the phyllo is crisp and golden.
- Leave the spanakopita cool down for 10-15 minutes before cutting into pieces.
You can use the same ingredients in order to prepare “kalitsouni”, little deep fried ravioli that are much appreciated in the island of Crete.