Braided Spinach Leek Spanakopita

Spanakopita is a savory Greek spinach pie and is traditionally made of steamed spinach, onions, feta and wrapped in a flaky phyllo dough. This snack has deep Greek origins and is one of Greece's signature dishes. The traditional Phyllo dough originates from the Ottoman Yufka pastry that influenced pastry preparation between modern Turkey and India. Phyllo dough is easy enough to make and takes time and finesse to make from scratch. Phyllo is also used in a lot of traditional Greek recipes including the famous Baklava. 

 

Spanakopita makes for a great appetizer or a light afternoon snack. Everyone has their own version of this snack and I prepared mine with cooked spinach, feta, leeks and scallions inside a braided puff pastry shell.  This pairs really well with a spicy Labneh dip - recipe link below. 

Braided spinach and leek spanakopita

Ingredients

  • Puff pastry - 2 sheets

  • Olive oil - 1 tablespoon

  • Baby spinach - 1 1/2 cups, chopped

  • Leeks - 3/4 cup, chopped

  • Onions - 1 cup, chopped

  • Garlic - 4, finely chopped

  • Feta cheese - 1 1/4 cup, crumbled

  • Parmesan cheese - 3/4 cup

  • Scallions - 2, chopped

  • Salt - 1/2 teaspoon

  • Black pepper - 1 teaspoon (ground)

  • Toasted pignoli (pine) nuts - 1/4 cup (optional)

  • Dried dill - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)

  • Egg wash or milk for brushing the pastry (optional)

Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan and cook the onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the leeks and after a couple of minutes, add garlic. Give it a minute and then add  spinach, scallions, salt, pepper, dill and cook for a couple of minutes more till there is no liquid. 

  2.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the feta, parmesan, pignolis, salt and pepper. Mix well. 

  3. The filling makes two pies - this is the instruction for one and just repeat it to make the second one. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry on a lightly dusted surface and gently roll out to a 12" by 15" rectangle. Place the pastry on a parchment paper. Make evenly spaced, 1 inch diagonal cuts down on each of the longer side of the rectangle. 

  4. Spread the spinach cheese mixture down the center. Fold the diagonal strips of dough in a crisscross pattern over the filling, forming a braid. Press the top and bottom ends together to seal the pie. Brush with egg wash or milk.

  5. Chill in the refrigerator for 25 minutes.

  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  7. Place the parchment paper with the pastry on a baking sheet. 

  8. Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.

  9. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. 

  10. Optional: Serve with Spicy Labneh Dip - recipe here

Products used in this recipe

Silicone baking mat

All purpose flour

Pine nuts

Did you bake this pie? I'd LOVE to see it! 

Snap a picture and hashtag #tessiefoodculture or tag me @tessiefoodculture on Instagram!

 

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