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Vegan spanakopita (Νηστίσιμη σπανακόπιτα)

Homemade phyllo and spinach filling which is perfect for lent, and anytime.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Resting time15 mins
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: spanakopita, meze, lenten, nistisima, vegan
Servings: 20 pieces
Author: Mia Kouppa

Ingredients

For the spinach filling

  • 1/2 cup long grain rice
  • 820 grams spinach
  • 1/2 head curly, or romaine, lettuce
  • 3/4 cup fresh green onions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dill, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs

For the phyllo

  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 cups, if needed
  • 55 ml olive oil
  • 40 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Instructions

To make the spinach filling

  • Place your rice in a bowl and add 3 cups of cold water.  Set aside.
  • Prepare your spinach by removing any hard stems and cutting any large spinach leaves in half.  Place your spinach in a large bowl and wash several times using cool water.
  • Wash your lettuce and cut it into bite sized pieces.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and once the water has boiled, add the spinach, lettuce and spring onions.  Allow the vegetables to sit in the water for approximately 30 seconds and then drain.  Allow your spinach mixture to drain in the colander for as long as you can.  Then, transfer the spinach to another clean bowl, squeezing out the excess water with your hands.  Alternatively you can use a cheesecloth or clean piece of tuile to squeeze out the excess water.
  • Drain the rice and rinse it.
  • To the spinach add the olive oil, dill, salt, pepper, bread crumbs and the rice.  Mix well until combined and set aside.

To make the phyllo

  • In a large bowl sift the flour and then add the rest of the phyllo ingredients.  Mix by hand and knead well for approximately 5 - 7 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, you will need to add more flour, up to an addition 1 1/2 cups.  Add additional flour 1/4 cup at a time. Watch video here, to see consistency of dough.
  • Make a large ball with your dough and divide it in half.
  • Take one half of the dough and rub the surface with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough as thinly as you can to cover your baking pan.  We use a 12 x 17 pan which is 1 inch high.  Your bottom layer of phyllo needs to come up the sides of your pan, and hang over a little bit.  This is needed in order to attach the bottom and top phyllo layers.

Assemble your spanakopita

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Grease your pan lightly with olive oil and then add the bottom layer of phyllo.  Place the spinach filling on the dough and use a fork to spread it evenly across phyllo.
  • Repeat the procedure used to roll out your first half of phyllo to now roll out the second half of your phyllo dough.
  • Place this phyllo on top of the spinach filling.  Crimp the bottom and top layers of phyllo together.
  • Using a sharp knife, score the top layer of phyllo, marking the dough in the way that you would like to cut your pieces.  
  • If desired, you can brush a thin layer of olive oil on the top layer of phyllo.
  • Bake your spanakopita in the middle rack of your oven for about 1 hour to an 1 hour 15 minutes.  When done, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting it.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

This vegan spanakopita is delicious served warm, at room temperature or cold out of the refrigerator.  Any leftover pieces will keep well in the fridge for several days.
The range of flour used in the recipe is due to the fact that flours differ, as does humidity in the air.  These factors impact how much flour a recipe will take.  The important thing to keep in mind is that your dough should not be too sticky (it should not stick to your hands) nor too stiff (it should be easy to roll).