Tag Archives: spinach

Spanakopita with Harissa/Bengali-5-Spice Roasted Cauliflower

17 Apr

Spanakopita. Spinach Pie. Feta + Spinach wrapped up in flaky filo. Served up with some harissa and bengali-5-spice roasted cauliflower. Roasted cauliflower pairs swimmingly with any dinner. Easy and healthy. I had leftover harissa from when I made a variation of Heidi’s Harissa Noodles. I had leftover bengali-5-spice from when I roasted these nuts. Bam! to using leftover spices and sauces.

I’m totally into spanakopita. These tasted so savory and lovely. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I made a darn good meal.

Making spanakopita would be a great dinner party idea or date night activity, and even a way to involve the kiddos with making dinner. While I was perfectly capable of doing everything myself, it would have been nice to have an extra pair of hands to help pass the filo sheets, brush with butter, and fill and roll. Filo dough dries out quick, so just remember to be efficient when time comes to fill and roll. And you can always patch things up or just discard a sheet of filo if it rips.

Feta and spinach are the stars here. Onion adds a deeper flavor. Nutmeg gives it that cozy comfort hint. The egg makes it all stay rich and together. Butter for brushing. Lemon for squeezing. Salt and pepper for good measure.

Above you see the filling all mixed together and ready to go.

Filling gets placed on the bottom center of the rectangle of filo (2 sheets).

Edges get folded in (“hot dog” style as some call it).

Folding upward in an attempt to make a triangle. I had issues with this because I’m not great with geometry. Let’s see how you fare.

I wholly approve of round-shaped spanikopita. Any shape you make them, these darlings taste so friggin’ dang good!

Spanakopita

adapted from David Lebovitz

makes 8-10 triangles (I got 10)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 10-oz package frozen spinach, thawed in the fridge overnight and then drained (you could use fresh, too, if you prefer)

1 8-oz block feta cheese

big pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

fresh ground pepper

1/2 of a lemon, juiced

1 egg

2 oz butter, melted

1/2 of a 16 oz box (1 package) of filo dough, thawed in the fridge overnight

Before beginning, make sure that the spinach is defrosted and drained (I broke the spinach up with my hands, set it in a strainer, and pushed down with paper towel to ensure that it was fully drained). Also, melt the 2 oz of butter either in a little pan or in the microwave and set aside while you prepare everything else.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic clove and saute for 1 minute more. Add the spinach and stir until everything is mixed together and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool down a bit.

In a bowl, crumble the feta and add grated nutmeg, fresh pepper, lemon, and a tiny pinch of salt (remember, feta is already quite salty). Stir together. Add the spinach and onions and stir everything together. Taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in the egg until everything is mixed together.

Now comes the tricky part. Take a dish towel and get it damp with water. Unroll the filo dough and cover it with the damp dish towel.

Working quickly, take one layer of filo out, brush it lightly but thoroughly with melted butter. Lay another sheet of filo on top and brush it with butter as well. Spoon about 1/4 cup of filling onto the bottom center, about 1-inch from the edge. Roll the two edges over the filling (lengthwise) to encase the filling. It should look like a long rectangle with the filling at the far end. Brush the exposed surface of the filo with butter and fold one corner diagonally over the filling, then continue folding keeping the triangle shape and brushing the exposed surfaces of the filo with butter, until you have a neat triangle (I did not get neat triangles, but I had nice shapes that encased my filling anyway). Brush the top with butter and set on a baking sheet in the freezer.

Continue making more spanakopitas with the remaining filling. Once all the spanakopitas are frozen, store them in a freezer bag until ready to bake. If well-wrapped, they’ll keep for a couple of months.

To bake the frozen spanakopita, preheat the oven to 350F and put the frozen triangles on a baking sheet, then brush each with butter. Bake for 30 minutes, or until deeply-golden brown. If you’re baking them without freezing them first, they’ll take less time to bake, so check them before the recommended baking time.

Harissa & Bengali-5-Spice Roasted Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, chopped

1 tablespoon harissa (I bought mine at Whole Foods)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon bengali-5-spice (see my recipe here)

few pinches of salt

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together cauliflower with harissa, olive oil, bengali-5-spice, and salt. Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for about 35-45 minutes, stirring once or twice while baking.

Advertisements

Espinacas con Garbanzos [Spinach and Chickpeas]

16 Jun

IMG_0859

Last week I moved across the country to New York City. In addition to all of the clothes and shoes I lugged with me, I carefully managed to wrap up and bring along: my cast-iron skillet, ice cream maker, mixing bowls, knife case with knives in tow, ramekins, whisk, spatula, and a few other miscellaneous kitchen utensils. Also included in my suitcase was a beautiful photograph poster of Julia Child: Lobster Thermidor and a 1500 piece puzzle of a vintage world map.

After weighing my 2 bags of luggage making sure that no bag was more than 50 pounds heavy, I was off. Well, ok, I had a minor stint with security because I put my ice cream maker in my carry-on bag and they had to double and triple check my bag before letting me through. Alas, I am now here in New York, unpacked and in full use of my new kitchen.

Espinacas con Garbanzos. A Spanish snack, a picnic pick-me-up, a light lunch or dinner. Healthy and tasty. Perfect with toast, or homemade croutons, or rice. Smoked paprika should be in your spice cabinet. It will become your secret weapon for wowing your fellow eaters. It helps make this dish pop. Do it.

Espinacas con Garbanzos [Spinach and Chickpeas]

adapted from SmittenKitchen, originally adapted from Moro: The Cookbook and Lobstersquad

makes about 3 dinner-servings worth (double if you are feeding more people or want more leftovers)

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

9 oz. bag of spinach

1 hefty slice of bread from a country loaf or sandwich bread, crusts removed and cubed

2 garlic cloves, sliced thin

1/4 cup of tomato sauce

pinch of red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

salt and pepper, to taste

squeeze of lemon, to taste

Heat half of your olive oil (1.5 tablespoons) in a pan over medium heat and saute your spinach in batches with a pinch of salt and stir well. Remove when leaves are just tender and set aside in another bowl.

In the same pan you just used, heat up 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Add your bread and fry until lightly browned on all sides. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Add the remaining half tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, cumin, and pepper flakes. Continue cooking for about one minute more.

**NOTE: You do not have to put everything in the blender. I bet this dish would still taste great with the rustic bread cubes instead of a blended sauce.

Transfer the bread mix to a blender with the red wine vinegar and whiz until it becomes a thick-ish paste. Return it to the pan with the tomato sauce, garbanzo beans, and spinach. Add the paprika, salt, and pepper, and serve with lemon juice.

Serve with bread toasts or rice.

 

WANT MORE CHICKPEA RECIPES?

Garlicky Roasted Chickpea Salad with Feta, Herbs, and Lemon

Pumpkin Chickpea Quinoa with Haricot Vert and Almonds