You know what’s my favorite part of spanakopita? The crispy phyllo pastry contrasting with the gooey, cheesy filling. You know what other food I have a sick appreciation for? Hot Pockets. I just can’t help it. I like food that you can hold in your hand and scarf down as you’re walking.
It wasn’t a huge leap, to make spanakopita in pocket form. Dare I say, it was made to be in pocket form!
I hope the description of folding the pockets makes sense enough. It’s so intuitive and you’ll get it, even with my not-so-great description. On the plus side, I got to use the word “hypotenuse” in a recipe. ‘sup, geometry?
This spanakopita recipe includes fennel seeds and nutmeg, which may be a little non-traditional, but I love it when cheese has a little something-something to contrast against.
- 8 oz. phyllo dough
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 pound of spinach, rinsed, dried, and lightly chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled up
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup melted and cooled butter
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten, diluted with a few tablespoons of water (egg wash)
- Let the phyllo dough thaw and come to room temperature on your counter top for at least 1 hour prior to handling.
- Add olive oil to bottom of a large shallow pan over medium. Add in onions and garlic and saute until the aromatics soften.
- Add in all the spinach and cover the pan with a lid, letting the steam wilt the spinach for about 30 seconds. Uncover and stir with a wooden spoon, making sure the water continues leaking out of the spinach. Cook for another 4 minutes.
- Pour out excess water from the pan and season the spinach with a few pinches of salt. Set aside to cool.
- Add ricotta, feta, egg, spinach, nutmeg, and rest of the salt and thoroughly mix with a wooden spoon.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut phyllo dough into thirds, lengthwise. You can eyeball it.
- Each spanakopita pocket will use 2 sheets of phyllo. Brush a sheet with butter and top it with another. Spoon about a tablespoon and a half of filling at the top.
- Fold a triangle over the filling, trying to cover it as best as you can. Roll the triangle over on itself so that the phyllo sheet is back into a rectangle shape. And then roll it onto itself again, over the hypotenuse. Continue this all the way down the line. Placed the finished pocket, flap side down, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
- Once the whole sheet pan is filled up, brush all the pockets with egg wash and put it in the hot oven for 15-25 minutes, until they are golden brown.
This is before the addition of spinach. It’s really not supposed to be so pale and not-green, fyi.