For the filling
20 ounces fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup water
12 ounces feta cheese, rinsed, patted dry, and crumbled into fine pieces (about 3 cups)
3/4 cup Greek yogurt (not the non-fat variety)
4 green onions, sliced thin
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup fresh mint, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the phyllo layers
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 pound phyllo, thawed (Sheets should be around 14x9 inches. I had to cut mine in half to achieve this.)
1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
2 teaspoons sesame seeds (optional)
1. Place spinach and water in large microwave safe bowl. Cover bowl and microwave on high power until spinach is wilted and decreased in volume by half, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from microwave and keep covered for 1 minute. (I had to do this in two batches.)
2. Remove spinach from container and transfer to colander set in sink. Using back of rubber spatula, press spinach against colander to remove excess liquid. Transfer spinach to cutting board and roughly chop. Squeeze in kitchen towel to remove as much excess liquid as possible. Place drained spinach in large bowl and add remaining filling ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined.
3. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425*F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using pastry brush, lightly brush 14x9-inch rectangle in center of parchment with melted butter.
4. Lay 1 phyllo sheet on buttered parchment and brush thoroughly with melted butter. Repeat with 9 more phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter.
5. Spread spinach mixture evenly over phyllo, leaving 1/4-inch border on all sides. Cover spinach with 6 more phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter and sprinkling each with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Place 2 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with butter.
6. Working from center outward, use palms of your hands to compress layers and press out any air pockets. Using a sharp knife, score pie through top 3 layers of phyllo into serving size pieces. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake until phyllo is golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes or up to 2 hours. Slide spanakopita, using parchment, to cutting board. Cut and serve.
This recipe is from the Cook's Illustrated 2011 Annual. Art and I love it but Lance found it to be a little on the sour side. I thought it went very well with the soup and leftovers were fantastic both cool and toasted in the toaster oven. The phyllo layers were lovely and crispy and the spinach mixture had tons of great flavors due to the spices and mint.
Shown here with Avgolemono Soup.