Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Greek Style Spinach-Feta Pie

Tonight I was in the mood to make my Greek Style Spinach-Feta Pie -- I had all the ingredients to make it -- fresh organic baby spinach, fresh dill, lemon, feta cheese, eggs, etc.  I love this dish because it reminds me of one of my favorite foods, spanikopita.  It is both hearty and fresh tasting at the same time.  You can make it using whole eggs or Egg Beaters, depending on your preference or what you have on hand.  I used fresh dill tonight, but you could also use dried instead.  I also prefer using fresh spinach but you could easily substitute frozen too if that is what you have available.  My original recipe (linked above) calls for 3 cups of almond flour in the crust and it makes a nice thick sturdy crust.  Tonight I wanted the crust to be a little bit thinner so I reduced the almond flour to only 2 cups and the butter down to 3 tablespoons instead (everything else remained the same).  The dough covered my 10-inch Pyrex pie dish perfectly.  I have re-copied the recipe below or you can simply click on the link above (with additional photos); and of course, I snapped a couple photos for you to see too.  Enjoy!

Voila!

BOOM!

Greek Style Spinach-Feta Pie

Crust

3 cups almond flour (2 cups for thinner crust)
4 tablespoons cold butter, diced into small cubes (3 tablespoons for thinner crust)
1 egg
1 teaspoon Greek Seasoning (or Italian Seasoning), optional 

Filling

10 oz. fresh spinach, (cooked and squeezed dry), chopped coarsely
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dill (or 1 to 2 teaspoons if using fresh)
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 eggs (or 1-1/4 cups Egg Beaters)
1/2 cup half-n-half

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Place all crust ingredients in a medium bowl.  Cut butter and egg into flour with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles small pebbles and the flour is thoroughly moistened (the same way you prepare a pie crust).  Press crust mixture into pie dish or tart pan (I used a 10" pyrex pie dish).  Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly browned; remove from oven and set aside.


Increase oven temp to 350 F degrees.  In a non-stick skillet, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent; remove and set aside.  In the same skillet, saute spinach just until wilted.  Drain and press as much of the liquid out of the spinach as possible (I use a mesh strainer and press it with the back of a spoon).  Place well drained spinach in a medium bowl; add cooked onions and garlic, feta, dill, lemon peel, pepper, eggs and half-n-half.  Mix until well combined.  Pour mixture into the lightly baked crust and bake at 350 F for 15 minutes; lower oven temp to 325 F (so edge of crust doesn't over brown); bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until filling and eggs are set and cooked .  If center still seems a little jiggly, cook an additional few minutes.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Drooling! Will have to make this delicious looking recipe soon!

CyberSis said...

Spanikopita is a favorite of mine, too. Who would have imagined that it could be WB-friendly! I might try the Egg Beaters version first ... I'm still having a little trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that lots of eggs (and cheese, for that matter) are actually *good* for us! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

I hope you enjoy it! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Cybersis -- Egg Beaters work just fine -- I have actually made it both ways and it is just as good either way. Still high in protein too which keeps you satisfied. I hope you enjoy it! :-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Gourmet Girl, I LOVE your blog and your recipes are so good. Please don't ever stop blogging or I will starve to death.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

LOL...thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoy the blog and recipes...and will make sure you don't have to worry about starving to death too! :-)

Anonymous said...

What brand of almond flour do you use? How finely is it ground?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

I use blanched almond flour (no skins) from Honeyville (I order directly from their website) -- they have a 15% discount running through 1/22 I believe (discount code is RESOLVE). It is finely ground and similar to regular wheat flour. If you don't have that kind, for the crust on this pie, you can use the regular kind (like Bob's Red Mill). Pie crusts are denser so it doesn't matter as much but if you are baking cakes, muffins, cookies, etc. you will get better results if you use a finer ground blanched almond flour. Hope that helps! :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi Gourmet Girl (and Anonymous)

I've found that Bob's Red Mill works great for your buttermilk biscuits and for small-ish, flat-ish things like wraps and cookies. I didn't realize that it was not good for every kind of baking until *after* I used it for the WB pumpkin bread. Well, it just refused to cook through no matter how long I left it in the oven. I finally broke it up into chunks and zapped it in the microwave to get it thoroughly cooked. It was delicious, but not exactly what I was expecting! :-)

That was a couple of months ago and almost immediately after my "disaster" I found out about Honeyville. I *finally* broke down and ordered a bag to try. It arrived yesterday. I was anxious to try it out, so just as soon as I unpacked the box I made “Basic Bread” from the new WB Cookbook. It is *so* worth it to get this flour for loaves. It turned out really well and it was completely baked in the time it was supposed to be!

The new WB Cookbook has the only explanation I've found for why Bob's doesn't work well for loaves, cakes, etc. According to the book, it's because they don't press any of the oil out of the almonds before making the flour. Some other companies (and Honeyville must be one of them) do this to reduce the oil content of the flour. So, in my experience at least, Bob's is a nice product for some things, but unless you're baking something fairly small and flat, it just stays wet and won't cook through.

I predict that your buttermilk biscuits will be even *more* delicious when I make them with Honeyville!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Cybersis -- I basically use Honeyville exclusively -- once I finished my Bob's Red Mill almond flour up months ago (which is really more like almond meal than flour)...I just buy Honeyville. It lasts a long time. I am on my 3rd 5-lb bag in 6 months (it's still mostly full) -- it goes a long way and produces superb quality baked goods. Since it is on sale again for the next few days I will probably go ahead and order bag #4! :-)

CyberSis said...

I'm sold! Thanks for the tip about the sale. I'll go check it out. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

You are welcome Cybersis -- make sure you keep it in the fridge after you open it to keep it fresh! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! :-)

Dee from NH said...

I made this on Saturday and the family LOVED it. I made it following directions for the thinner crust which I thought was perfect. Thanks for posting another great recipe!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Dee -- So glad that you and your family liked it! :-)

CyberSis said...

Love the spinach pie! We had it for supper tonight. The crust is great! So glad I got the Honeyville almond flour. It has really been making a world of difference. I've been keeping the opened bag in the fridge. Is that how you store it, or should it go into the freezer? I'm guessing that the unopened bag will do OK at room temp.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis -- so glad you enjoyed the spinach pie and the crust made with Honeyville almond flour. It really does make a world of difference in baked goods especially. I keep my opened bag in the refrigerator. So far I haven't refrigerated the unopened bag. If you don't use the "opened bag" within a few months, you might want to consider freezing it -- but so far I haven't frozen any and it has been very fresh. Glad you like the flour too! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I made this tonight and it was a huge hit with my family. Last night I made the chicken scampi ish with cauliflower mash again and my husband asked me to make it more often. Both of these recipes are going into my menu rotations for sure. I just love the way you cook and I so appreciate and enjoy reading your stories. Thanks so much, your recipes are restaurant quality food in the comfort of my own home. I appreciate you. Maria

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much Maria -- I am so happy you enjoyed both the Chicken Scampi-ish and the Spinach-Feta Pie. Thanks for the kind words too! :-)

Anonymous said...

I love your recipes. Keep up the good work.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much! I appreciate the nice comment! :-)

Magali said...

Thank you for this. It look yummy. A question for you, so far I have used Honeyvile almond flour to make bread and pancakes. As per your recipe, I would blind bake the crust for this. I noticed that you don't mention using pie weights. Are they not necessary? Thanks again.

Kath said...

I am so eager to try this Spinach-Feta Pie! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Kath -- I hope you enjoy it! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Magali -- This crust does not need pie weights -- essentially you are par-baking it (it continues baking after you fill it). This just helps keep it from getting soggy once you add the egg and spinach mixture. Since almond flour is more delicate than wheat and contains natural oils, it tends to burn easier -- so you don't want to completely bake it first or it might burn while baking the filled crust. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks! :-)

Maria said...

I'd like to make your yummie sounding pie tonight. But in The Netherlands we do not know half and half for a dairy product (over here half and half refers to half white wine and half champagne,lol) Would I mix half milk and half (whipping) cream?
Please advice me, thanks!!Maria

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Maria! Half and half is basically half milk/half cream. If you don't have that, I would substitute all cream if that is what you carry. In this pie I made last night, I actually used all cream this time -- it turned out great. Also, I was out of regular onions, so I used sliced green spring onions in place and it turned out great. Hope that helps and I hope you enjoy it -- I am home having lunch now and I am having a piece for lunch! :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

I made this for the "umpteenth" time tonight ... it never fails to be absolutely delicious! I've been using the food processor to make the crust. I know it's an extra gadget to clean up, but it's easier for me than wielding the Pastry Blender! :-)

I also decided to try an experiment ... rolling the dough between two sheets of waxed paper, instead of pressing it into the pie plate. This worked *very* well, and turned out to be much easier for me. (I used the thinner crust recipe.) I didn't think to prick the dough before the initial baking, and the bottom of the dough really lifted up from the bottom of the pie plate. It looked like it might just float away! :-) But after removing it from the oven it started to deflate and I was able to gently pat it back into place with no damage to the crust. I suppose it might have been a different story if the *sides* had lifted up, as well!

Another little "experiment" was out of necessity. I discovered that I had only about 3/8 of a cup of half-and-half. I brought the volume up with plain water and it worked just fine!

Our "egg lady" is well into production after the "long winter's nap" so I used her farm-fresh eggs. I continue to be amazed by these wonderful "pastured" chickens and their beautiful eggs! I did try eggs from a couple of other local sources while these were unavailable, but there was no comparison. I guess the girls must appreciate their beauty rest ... and it really pays off! We'll be in Egg Heaven till the snow flies! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! Good idea making the crust in the food processor. That would be especially helpful for some of those that might have wrist or hand issues (I remember Barbara telling me she had arthritis that impacted her hands -- speaking of which I haven't heard from her recently and hope she is okay). Great to know it rolls out well, too. Did you chill it before transferring to your baking dish or was it difficult moving over? I know with my chicken pot pie, chilling that dough made all the difference in the world moving it over to my casserole dish.

Hahaha on the crust lifting off from the bottom! You are right though, had the sides decided to lift off, you could very well have ended up with a flying saucer in your oven! Great that you are back to enjoying your farm fresh eggs again too. Hope you are getting to enjoy some warmer weather now! :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

I thought about chilling the dough before transferring it, but it didn't seem to need it so I just went for it! :-)

Yes, we've started getting some nice weather. The flowering shrubs are in full bloom and most of the trees are leafed out. Tulips are up now, joining the early-bird daffodils (although most of the daffs are gone now.) Lilacs are just beginning to appear and those gutsy irises started coming up through the snow a few months ago, so pretty soon they should be blooming, too. We've had a ton of rain and less than a week ago the flower beds looked like fish ponds. Hostas were making a valiant attempt to come through and I was afraid that they'd give up and drown. However, the waters have receded and the hostas are going great guns. We'll probably go to the nursery this weekend to get our annuals and tomato plants. Looks like spring is finally starting to get serious around here! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

Yay...your spring has finally sprung! I'm sure with your winter that it must really be nice to see that. It's amazing to see it sunny and bright here until 8:30-ish in the evening now. So much better than dark at 5:30. We are supposed to get up to 88 here today (Thursday) which is unseasonably warm...but I'm not complaining! So far no oppressive humidity so that's a good thing. My tomatoes are going gangbusters already and the herbs are growing so fast too. Last summer was a total bust for any of my plants because we had monsoon rains all summer long. There wasn't enough sun and all the rain just made the plants rot and sickly. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a much less rainy summer this year. Glad you finally got good weather. :-)