Does anyone else go crazy over spinach and feta together?
My love for these spanakopita strudels might have something to do with the phyllo dough and copious amounts of butter, but I’m fairly certain it stems from my appreciation for the spinach-feta combo.
Other then requiring a little patience, you have no excuse for not attempting these at home. They are crazy good and seriously easy to make. Mix a few ingredients together, throw ‘em on top of some phyllo, fold, bake, and devour.
Chop some fresh spinach in a food processor. (My husband is a firm believer that frozen spinach is the worst thing ever. Generally, I agree with him. It takes only minimal effort to chop the spinach in a food processor, so if you’ve got one available, don’t use the frozen stuff.)
Add fresh feta and cottage cheese. A little salt and pepper, too.
Mix it all up.
Realize that you forgot to add eggs, so… add some beaten eggs. (The original recipe calls for five eggs, but in retrospect that was too many. I’d start with three, then add a fourth egg if the mixture is too dry.)
Give it one final stir.
Then prepare the phyllo!
Lay out one layer at a time, then drizzle with a little butter. Repeat with two additional layers of phyllo, for a total of three layers. You can see I tried to get butter spread evenly throughout the layers.
Place 1/2 a cup of spinach and feta towards the bottom of the phyllo, then roll the bottom up and tuck the sides in. Continue rolling until you’ve made a little strudel-like package. (For more step-by-step photos, see the original post here.)
Place your strudels on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then brush the tops with a little more butter. (Couldn’t hurt, right?)
As mentioned before, five eggs was too many (see below). The eggs started running out of the phyllo, and both John and I thought there was too strong of an “egg” presence in the final product.
…but they sure do look pretty!
If you’re not drooling, there’s probably something wrong with you. (If you’re lactose-intolerant, sorry for offending you.)
I mean, seriously. What’s not to like about these?!
Flaky, buttery, salty, and just absolutely what I wanted them to be.
You could add roasted chicken or chopped up shrimp (shrimp and feta is a delicious combo!), but they’re pretty perfect as is.
Be prepared to feel a little gluttonous. It’s hard to stop with just one.
*Recipe adapted slightly from Alexandra Cooks.
Yields: 9-11 strudels, depending on size
Time: 40 min prep, 30-45 min cooking
- 10 oz fresh baby spinach
- 8 oz. cottage cheese (low fat)
- 12 oz. feta, crumbled into small pieces
- 3 or 4 eggs, beaten
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black popper
- 1 box phyllo dough, thawed
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
- Place spinach in a food processor and pulse until just roughly chopped. (It took me three batches.) Place in a large bowl.
- Add cottage cheese, feta, and 3 eggs. Stir to combine. If the mixture looks too dry, add the last egg. Season with salt and pepper.
- Set up your work station: a large cutting board is helpful. Use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to measure out the filling (such a great suggestion!). You’ll also need a teaspoon to spoon butter onto the phyllo dough and a brush to brush butter onto the assembled strudels. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- Open and unroll one bag of phyllo, then place next to your cutting board. Phyllo dries out quickly, so if you need to step away from the assembly process, re-roll the phyllo and place it in a ziploc bag.
- Preheat an oven to 350 F. Place one sheet of phyllo on the cutting board or work surface. Spoon three teaspoons of melted butter over the layer of phyllo. Note: you do not have to brush it or make sure that every bit of the dough is covered with butter. (The original poster suggests that the finished spanakopita is actually lighter when you don’t brush the dough with butter.) Top with another layer of phyllo. Spoon three more teaspoons of butter over the areas of this layer that were not covered in the previous. Top with one more layer of phyllo and again spoon over three teaspoons of butter.
- Using your 1/2 cup measuring cup, scoop out a level 1/2 cup filling and place on phyllo about 2-inches from the bottom. Pull bottom of phyllo over top of this. Fold sides in, then fold the bottom portion up and over itself. Keep folding until you’ve made a little parcel. Place the parcel seam side down on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush top with butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling.
- Bake strudels for 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool briefly and serve.