Every family has their go-to casseroles and favorite dishes. Many times they have some cultural relevance or could be considered an homage to family heritage. Based on this thinking, I assumed all Irish Catholic/German Jewish families enjoyed spanakopita on a regular basis.
I was wrong. This spinach mixture wrapped in phyllo dough is actually a Greek savory pastry. It works as an appetizer in cute little triangles, or as an entree in a big square like lasagna, and it freezes well. Of course, if this was a family recipe dating back generations, we would have a few Greek grandmothers muttering under their breath and praying for us because our recipe uses frozen spinach, and (*gasp*) store-bought phyllo leaves.
Sometime over the years, my mom shared her recipe with me, and I’ve since put my vegan twist in it for a completely butter- and egg-free dish.
- 1/2 package of prepared phyllo leaves – check package to confirm they are vegan (10 large sheets)
- 2 tablespoons of Earth Balance soy free margarine (or other preferred non-dairy butter substitute)
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 3 10-ounce packages of frozen chopped spinach – thawed and drained (lately, I’ve been mixing spinach and kale!)
- Equivalent of 3 eggs using egg replacer (I use Ener-G Egg – 4.5 tsps of egg replacer with 6 TBSP of warm water)
- 3/4 cups of Fabulous Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley (or 2 tablespoons dried parsley)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 1 ½ teaspoons dillweed)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup Earth Balance margarine, melted
- Let frozen pastry leaves warm to room temperature (check the directions on label).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Saute onion in 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet.
- Add spinach (and kale) to margarine – stir, remove from heat.
- Make egg replacer. Stir in Fabulous Feta, parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Add this
mixture to spinach and onions, mix well.
- Brush a 13 x 9 pan with melted margarine. Layer 10 phyllo leaves (usually 5 leaves, folded in half), brushing each with margarine.
- Spread spinach mixture evenly over the bottom layer of phyllo.
- Cover spinach mixture with 10 more phyllo leaves, brushing each with margarine.
- Cut off uneven edges of pastry or fold them in over top and brush top of finished pie with margarine.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes – until top crust is puffy and golden.
Depending on appetites, this recipe will make 6-8 servings. Enjoy!