WGN’s Dean Richards shares easy, delicious recipe for Greek Spanakopita Roll.
· 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
· 2 medium leeks (about 1 1/2 pounds), white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (about 3 cups)
· 6 garlic cloves, chopped
· Kosher salt and black pepper
· 1 ½ pounds fresh baby spinach
· ¾ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
· ½ cup chopped fresh dill
· ½ cup freshly grated Kefelotyri or Parmesan cheese
· 2 teaspoons lemon zest, plus 2 teaspoons juice (from 1 large lemon)
· Pinch of ground nutmeg
· 2 large eggs, beaten
· 6 ounces sheep’s-milk feta in brine, drained and crumbled (about 1 1/2 cups feta. I prefer Dondoni brand.)
· 8 sheets phyllo dough of any size (see Tip), thawed, laid flat on a sheet pan and loosely covered with a towel.
1. In a large pan,, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Add one large handful of spinach at a time, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and stir until wilted, until you’ve added and seasoned all of the spinach and the mixture is thoroughly combined, about 12 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let cool.
3. Arrange an oven rack in the middle position, and heat the oven to 400 degrees.
4. In a large bowl, combine the parsley, dill, kefelotyi/parmesan, lemon zest and juice, and nutmeg, and stir to combine. Working with about 1 cup at a time, transfer the spinach mixture to a fine-mesh strainer or sieve set in the sink and press the mixture to remove as much liquid as possible, then add to the parsley mixture.
5. Stir to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper. (Feta is salty, so season very lightly with salt here.)
6. Stir in the eggs, then gently fold in the feta, doing your best to leave the larger chunks intact into the leek-garlic mixture. Combine egg/feta/leek mixture with the dill/parsley mixture.
7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Defrost the phyllo crust and unfold on a flat surface keeping it covered with a moist towel until you’re ready to assemble.
Place parchment paper on a medium sheet pan or large rectangular baking pan or lightly oil without parchment.
8. Completely brush 8 sheets of phyllo with olive oil on a work surface; each sheet on top of each other.
9. Spread the combined filling mixture evenly on top, leaving room around the edges, folding in the short sides. Carefully roll the filled phyllo to form a long, fat cylinder. Lift onto the prepared pan.
10. Brush oil on the top of the phyllo cylinder. Score the cylinder into 2 inch pieces.
11. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
12. Remove. Let it cool, cut and serve.
13. The spanakopita can be served warm or at room temperature.
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