This year, Easter and Greek Easter fall on the same day, giving you leeway to get a little Mediterranean with your holiday cooking. Chef Brendan Pelley, the local go-to for Greek culinary guidance, has all the know-how on savory spanakopita – or, spinach pie – to supplement your usual spread. Inspired by his mother’s recipe, he whips up a spring-y green filling (spinach, leeks and scallions) for the phyllo treat. Pelley garnishes his take with Aleppo pepper, pea tendrils, nasturtium blossoms and fresh lemon, but feel free to enjoy it as is.
- 1 leek
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter
- 1-1 1/2 pounds curly spinach, chopped
- 1 pound domestic feta cheese, in brine
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 package Kontos #4 phyllo dough
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF (with high fan).
- Cut off the tops and bottoms of the leek, then slice into 1/4-inch rings and rinse well.
- Coat a heavy bottomed pot or pan with olive oil over medium heat. Add in the leeks and scallions with a slab of butter. Sweat on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Meanwhile, add the rest of the butter to a small sauce pot and melt on low heat.
- While the leeks are cooking, crumble the feta cheese into a large steel bowl. Remove any large stems from the spinach and add in the leaves. Crack in the eggs and the baking powder and mix together.
- Remove the melted butter from the stove and have it handy to brush the phyllo.
- Add the softened leeks and scallions to the filling mix and stir to combine.
- Brush the bottom of a Pyrex pan with butter. Add six layers of phyllo, brushing each with melted butter.
- Add a layer of the pie filling, then two more layers of phyllo, brushing with butter. Repeat, then add the remainder of the filling and top with six layers of phyllo, brushing each with butter.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the internal temp reads 185ºF.
- Cool, cut and serve.