Dinner Party Anyone?
Bright tasting, rich and creamy, with that distinct phyllo crunch, this dish makes a delicious and impressive entree for any special occasion. Yet, perfect for everyday kind of dining as well.
- 1 pound phyllo dough thawed to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 leek washed thoroughly, dried, and chopped, around 3 cups uncooked
- 1 pound feta crumbled
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh dill chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds spinach leaves roughly chopped
- 1 small lemon or half of a large lemon zested and juiced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/8 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Defrost phyllo as per package instructions.
- Saute chopped leek in oil over medium high until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
For the filling:
- Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. If you don’t have a mixer, you can mix by hand in a large bowl.
- Add, the feta, ricotta, leeks, parsley, and dill to the bowl, and mix until combined.
- Add the spinach by the handful, and mix thoroughly between handfuls as it gets blended in with the rest of the ingredients. It may look like the bowl will overflow, but don't worry, you're good.
- Add lemon juice and zest, olive oil, salt and pepper, and blend thoroughly.
- Whisk the eggs in a small bowl, then add them to the spinach mixture. Blend until well combined.
- Melt the butter in the microwave in a microwave safe dish, then remove it from the oven and set it aside.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the bottom of a 13 inch by 9 inch baking dish.
- Open the package of phyllo and unroll the sheets. Lay them out vertically in front of you, keeping the sheets neatly on top of one another. Cover the stack with a dry towel and then a damp towel on top of that so the phyllo doesn't dry out. Either that, or work very quickly, which will become easier the more often you work with phyllo.
- With your pan also sitting vertically in front of you, place 3 sheets of phyllo over the breadcrumbs on the bottom of the pan. Edges can hang over the side of the dish. Pour a small amount of butter over the top of the phyllo and brush it around with a pastry brush.
- Place 2 sheets of phyllo horizontally, half in and half way out over the left longer edge of the pan. Move up to the top shorter edge of the pan, and repeat this process, and continue repeating the process til you have finished all four sides of the pan. It's okay if the pieces overlap some. You will have used 8 sheets of phyllo. Pour a little butter between each layer and spread around with your pastry brush so the butter is dispersed evenly.
- Pour the filling mixture over the top of the phyllo in the dish, spreading it out evenly and into the corners.
- Fold the phyllo that has been hanging over the 4 sides of the dish neatly over the top of the filling. Brush the phyllo with butter between the layers.
- Turn your pan around so it is sitting horizontally in front of you. And lay your stack of phyllo horizontally in front of you as well. Use the remaining sheets of phyllo to cover the top of the pie. Taking one sheet at a time, starting with the edge furthest away from you, gather the sheet towards the edge closer to you with your fingertips and thumb like an accordion fold. Place at one end and across the longer side of the dish. Repeat with each remaining sheet, layering each fold underneath one another until you have the entire dish covered.
- Pour the rest of the butter over the top and brush very lightly to cover each sheet with butter, being careful not to rip the dough.
- Carefully score the dough with a sharp knife into 12 equal pieces.
- Bake in your preheated oven on the middle rack for 30 minutes, then check to make sure the top isn't getting too brown. If it is, lightly place a piece of aluminum foil over the top. Continue baking for 20 more minutes. Then move pan to the bottom rack to cook for an additional 10 minutes, so that bottom gets nice and crunchy. Total cooking time is about 60 minutes.
- Remove the pie from the oven, and let it sit and rest for 15 minutes before serving.
- Enjoy with a side of Greek salad.