One of my favorite things to order in a Greek restaurant is Spanakopita. I love the layers of fillo. The sauteed spinach filling. And all the creamy, salty feta. Yum! But at home I can’t make a big, spinach pie since there aren’t enough people to eat it all. Enter these little spinach, feta fillo triangles which can hang out in the freezer and be baked up a few at a time. Spanakopita without the commitment. Sign me up.
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I know you’re thinking ‘fillo dough? that’s so difficult and fiddly to work with!’ but it’s really not.
It’s actually quite forgiving so long as you don’t let it dry out. Get a tear in your pie dough and it’s there for everyone to see. (Though usually in my experience they are too busy cutting and eating the pie to care too much.) Get a tear in the fillo? No big deal. Just layer another piece on it and no one will ever know.
As for all the brushing with butter most recipes have?
Spray olive oil is the way to go here. Spray oil makes it so easy! And it’s just plain olive oil in a pump bottle with no additives, which you can buy as is in the store or get a pump bottle and fill it.
As you can see, I have my work station set up here. I have the fillo to one side and the filling and spray oil to the other with my cutting board in the middle. Layer up some pieces, spraying them down with oil as needed and then cut right down the middle.
To put the filling on, I used one of my scoops. I love all my scoops! I have four of them, from a little, truffle-sized scoop to a big, cupcake-sized scoop. Here I used my #24 sized scoop to scoop out the filling, but a #30 scoop would work as well. With the #24 I didn’t fill it quite all the way so I would have enough filling for all the turnovers. (I was looking for about 2 1/2 tablespoons of filling/turnover and the #24 holds 3 tbsp.)If you don’t have a scoop that will work, measure out the first one and then eyeball it. Or you can divide the filling up evenly into 12 portions.
Once you have the filling in, you just fold it all up and over, back and forth like a flag until you get to the top. Don’t worry if it leaks out a little bit on the first fold! So long as you squeezed out that spinach real well the filling will be fairly dry and not too messy to work with, and you’ll be folding it up and over to seal it all in. Once you have everything set out, it goes pretty quick and, before you know it, you’ll have a pile of turnovers all done.
I actually found the toughest part of making these turnovers was keeping people from eating them before I could put them on the table for dinner. (In this case I’m looking at my husband. 🙂 )
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 6 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, minced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano, or 1 tsp dried
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill, or 1/2 tsp dried
- dash of nutmeg
- 6 oz feta
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 1 egg
- spray olive oil
- 20 sheets filo dough, 8 oz, one sleeve of filo
Preheat oven to 375F.
Heat up oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Wring out spinach in a towel, squeezing out as much water as possible. Add spinach, onion, and salt to skillet; saute 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Mix in oregano, dill, and nutmeg.
In a large bowl, stir together feta, ricotta, and egg until fully incorporated. Stir in the spinach mixture.
Now it's time to make the turnovers. Take a piece of fillo dough and spread it out on a large cutting board. Spray with olive oil and put another piece of fillo over it. Spray that one with olive oil and add another layer; adding and spraying each layer until you have 3 layers. Now cut the layered fillo dough lengthwise into two, long pieces.
Put 2 1/2 tablespoons of spinach mixture at the bottom right part of each fillo strip. Fold the fillo over so the bottom comes up and meets the right side, beginning the triangle shape. Continue folding up and over until you get to the end and have a nice triangle of filled fillo. Put the triangle on a baking sheet.
One package of my fillo has 20 sheets (40 per box), so I can get 12 triangles from a package. I divide them up between 2 baking sheets.
Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- If you don't have spray olive oil, pour some olive oil in a cup and brush the fillo.
- Toasted pine nuts make an excellent addition to this recipe. I would recommend 1/3 cup of pine nuts.