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Welcome to my Blog 'In The Kitchen With Don'! Thank you for your visit and come back soon!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spinach Feta Casserole

I love the Greek dish, spanakopita or spinach pie.  It is a delectable dish made with lots of melted butter, filo pastry and a rich spinach and feta cheese filling.   However, it is kind of a pain in the butt to make, with all the layers of filo leaves, each leaf brushed with lots of melted butter.  Because of all the melted butter, it is also quite rich.   Wonderful for a special treat, but not something you would want to eat all that often.  However, the actual spinach filling itself, is not all that rich and for me is the best part anyway.   So I took my favorite spanikopita recipe, changed it a bit to meet my tastes and baked it without the filo pastry.   I love it and it is a lot lighter.   If you use low fat feta, it would be even lighter.   Either way, this is a tasty side or even a main course.   I hope you will like it as much as I do.

Spinach Feta Casserole

3-4 eggs, beaten
12oz bag of frozen chopped spinach, thawed or about  2 lbs. of fresh spinach, chopped
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled or diced
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. dill (fresh or dried, if using fresh use only about 1 tbsp. finely chopped)
a small bunch of green onions, cleaned and chopped (in the original recipe, but I don’t use them)
½ cup chopped parsley (optional—in the original recipe, but I don’t use them)
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.   Grease an 8x8 inch square pan and set aside (or use any other dish of approximately the same size).

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven and cook the onion until it starts to brown a bit, then add the garlic.   Stir it around for a few minutes, then stir in the spinach.   Cook until the frozen spinach is heated or until the fresh spinach is very wilted.   Remove from heat and cool a bit.    Meanwhile, beat together the eggs, yogurt, pepper and dill, then stir in the feta.   Finally, add the cooled spinach and onions and mix well (if using, add the green onions and parsley now).  Spoon into the prepared pan and bake about 45-60 minutes.  I knife stuck in the center should come out clean and the edges should be starting to brown.   Cool slightly before serving. 

You could add some things to make this a bit different:  Some crumbled bacon or cubed ham (finely chopped prosciutto fried with the onion would be to die for!) added to the mixture.   Topping the casserole with some grated Parmesan before baking would be tasty.   Making a topping of buttered breadcrumbs and Parmesan would be tasty and pretty as well.  Also, there is no reason you should limit yourself to just spinach, any tender spring green would be very good in this.   Use you imagination!