Home made phyllo dough filled with spinach, herbs and feta
Summer is almost over! How can that be?! As always, the months when school is out, the days are at their longest, and the sun smiles down warmly, pass all too quickly. We try to hold on to the season by enjoying every moment left and by looking back at our June picnics, July getaways and August pool parties and barbecues, recognizing that although quick, our summer was blessedly full.
Homemade phyllo and spinach filling, perfect for Lent, and anytime
Growing up we lived close to our grade school, and so lunches were eaten at home after a short walk down one street and one lane. Our mother, who worked at different periods either at home, or in the evenings, was available to meet us at the school and walk the short distance home with us. Once there we would very occasionally be treated to our parents’ newly discovered convenience food; the TV dinner. We loved those surprise lunches, from the compartmentalized courses to the odd looking sauces and vegetables which were less than vibrant. We especially loved returning to school and, on those days only, asking our friends “what did you have for lunch?”, knowing that they would probably ask us the same. Then, we could nonchalantly, but with a quiet glee, say, “Oh, you know, a TV dinner”. Our non-Greek friends would nod their heads with approval and understanding. Our Greek friends would look bewildered.
The quintessential Greek pie: Spanakopita with homemade phyllo
Spanakopita; the King (or Queen) of Greek cuisine. We doubt that there is a food more loved than this. Regardless of culinary and cultural background, and whether or not you grew up in a Greek household, you have probably heard of spanakopita. The lucky amongst us will have also tasted it, and the most fortunate know how to make it on their own, so that it can be enjoyed whenever the craving hits. Spanakopita is the reason Greek parents can’t relate to other parents when they say “You know how kids are! We have to puree and sneak vegetables into everything…Jack and Jill won’t touch anything green! Kids, right?!” Wrong. We think Jack and Jill just need to be offered a piece of spanakopita.
Ask most non-Greeks what their favourite Greek food is and we think that a large majority of them will say spanakopita. Perhaps this is because spanakopita is so easy to pronounce, not requiring the guttural sounds difficult to articulate unless you have practiced them since birth. Although this is true, it must be more than mere phonetics. We actually think that spanakopita are so revered because they are, in a word, yummy.
Spanakopita are perfect in so many ways, and there are so many ways to prepare them. Here we have chosen to share the recipe for what we affectionately call spanakopitakia; the -kia tagged on to the end illustrating that these particular spanakopita are small and adorable. Made with store-bought phyllo, they are actually pretty easy (albeit time consuming) to make. In future posts we plan to introduce other variations of spanakopita, including those made with home-made phyllo dough. We dream about one day having a whole category of recipes called “Pitas”. No…really…we actually dream about this stuff, like, in our sleep. #losers