Monday, March 21, 2011

Today is the day to: Be Greek

There are several advantages to stepping outside your comfort zone. One, is cooking foreign cuisine. That glimpse of trepidation in approaching the notion of using ingredients you can hardly pronounce, awaiting judgment from friends and family because, after all you did volunteer to cook. It can leave you shaking in your boots. Trust me on this one, you can do it! Today is the day to successfully create a cultural, edible masterpiece. I have a heart that is set on travelling the world, unfortunately, I do not have the means to travel. But this does not stop me from experiencing the world and its beauty. I charge into the kitchen like a bull running the streets in Madrid with a sprinkle of confidence and a large helping of hope, both of which turn out to be the key ingredients of any culinary concoction.

So, my friends, here is a little look at my culinary adventure to Greece. While I might not be able to see the azure color of the Mediterranean sea from a bustling open air market amongst the natives prattling in beautiful, poetic Greek language, I sure can whip up a traditional Greek dish called spanakopita. Recipe derived from


  • 2lbs Spinach
  • 1/2cup Flat leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 1 large onion
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough (I used more because it is delicious!)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (used for brushing phyllo dough sheets)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, lightly grease a 9x9 inch pan.

1.Heat a large skillet with 3tbsp olive oil.
2.Peel and chop onion, parsley, green onions and mince garlic.
3.Add onion, garlic, and green onion to heated skillet, cook until onions are tender and slightly browned.

4. Once onions are cooked thoroughly, add in spinach and parsley. The spinach will cook quickly!

5. Once the spinach has been cooked fully, pour contents of skillet into a large bowl to cool.
6. Cheese mixture: In a medium bowl, lightly beat two eggs, add in ricotta cheese, and feta cheese. Mix! 
7. Once spinach mixture has cooled, pour cheese mixture into the large bowl. Stir.

8. Layer 8 phyllo sheets into a 9x9inch pan, lightly brushing with olive oil after each sheet. The sheets are very delicate so handle with care.
9. After the last phyllo sheet, pour spinach/cheese mixture into pan. 
10. Layer last 8 phyllo sheets, repeating the process of brushing each sheet with olive oil. 
11. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes.

What comes out is an AMAZING golden colored savory dish!

Serve warm (trust me on this, the fresher the better! The cheese is a melted delicious mess among the flavorful greens). Garnish with parsley :)

Voila! A beautiful Greek dish that can be easily made right in your own home/dorm/apartment/etc.

Snickers, my twenty pound rather rotund Dachshund, is a big fan of feta cheese. So, being the loving, caring, part-owner that I am I let her experience a little bit of Greece too with a chance to lick out the feta cheese container. She jumped on that chance.


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