Spanakopita – My New Year’s Eve Tradition

I make spanakopita, a Greek appetizer, every New Year’s Eve.  It keeps for a few days, reheats well in a toaster oven, and saves me from having to cook New Year’s Day when I just want to sleep in.  This is especially important this year because tonight I am breaking out the margarita machine I got for my birthday.

I believe the traditional recipe calls for spinach, which always tastes gritty to me, no matter what kind of spinach is used.  And requires it to be layered like a lasagna in a baking dish, which lacks the flaky deliciousness of phyllo dough.  I thought I’d share my recipe for your NYE celebration.

The trick to working with phyllo dough is to thaw it in the refrigerator, unroll it onto a baking sheet, and cover it with a damp (not wet) towel or paper towel.  The sheets are so thin they dry out quickly and the damp towel keeps them from crumbling in your hands.



20 Triangles

¾ cup crumbled feta cheese

½ cup ricotta cheese

1 egg

2 tbsp chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 lb phyllo dough (found in freezer section)

1 cup butter, clarified

  1. Combine feta, cottage cheese, egg, parsley, and pepper in bowl. Mix well. Using 1 strip of dough at a time, brush with melted butter. Fold into thirds lengthwise to form 4-inch wide rectangle.

  2. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture in corner at bottom of strip of dough. Fold, flag fashion, to form triangle. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Brush surface of triangle with butter. Continue to fill and form dough strips into triangles, brushing each with butter until all are used.

  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.