Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Spanakopita with Tzatziki

I’ve been dying to try these recipes, and decided tonight is the night!  We have company in town and it’s one of the last nights she’s here.  So far there haven’t been any bombs, and I know this one will impress!  We also served this with chicken Skewers (not pictured)  I marinate them in a Slovakia sauce.

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

½ Cup olive oil, for sautéing
1 pkg. filo dough
1 large onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds spinach, thawed and drained (squeezed to removed excess water)
½ cup fresh dill weed, chopped
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
4 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup olive oil, for layering the filo

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9x9 inch square baking pan.
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, green onions and garlic, until soft and lightly browned. Stir in spinach, dill and parsley, and continue to saute until spinach is limp, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, mix together eggs and feta. Stir in spinach mixture. Lay 1 sheet of filo dough in prepared baking pan, and brush lightly with olive oil. Lay another sheet of filo dough on top, brush with olive oil, and repeat process with two more sheets of filo. The sheets will overlap the pan. Spread spinach and cheese mixture into pan and fold overhanging dough over filling. Brush with oil, then layer remaining 4 sheets of filo dough, brushing each with oil. Tuck overhanging dough into pan to seal filling. Score pieces prior to baking.  Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve while hot.



    3 cups plain yogurt
    1 hothouse cucumber, peeled and seeded (or 2 regular), finely grated
    ¼ teaspoon salt (to extract the water from the cucumber)
    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
    3-4 tablespoon olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    3 tablespoons minced fresh dill

Place the yogurt in a cheesecloth or paper towel-lined sieve and set it over a bowl. Grate the cucumber and toss it with 1 tablespoon of salt; place it in another sieve, and set it over another bowl. Place both bowls in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours so the yogurt and cucumber can drain.

Transfer the thickened yogurt to a large bowl. Squeeze as much liquid from the cucumber as you can and add the cucumber to the yogurt. Mix in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, and ½ teaspoon salt. You can serve it immediately, but I prefer to allow the tzatziki to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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