Spanakopita with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Spanikopita

I’ve tried a couple of different variations of Spanakopita and this blending of several is what I have found to be my favorite. This is absolutely one of those foods where you can taste the freshness of it being homemade, it is worth every effort. Get ready for pure deliciousness!

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Spanakopita with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 30 triangles
Ingredients
  • Yogurt Sauce
  • 3 cups Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about one lemon)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large English cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh dill or 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped (or both, depending on preference)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Spanakopita
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2-4 shallots, diced
  • 2 packages of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • ½ bunch scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • ⅛ cup finely chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ pound feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted (can use vegan version or olive oil)
  • ½ pound phyllo pastry sheets
Instructions
  1. To make yogurt sauce, peel cucumbers and dice. Put them in a colander and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt (draws water out). Cover with a plate and sit something heavy on top. Let sit for 30 minute Drain well and wipe dry with a paper towel.
  2. In food processor or blender, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill and/or mint, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir into yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend. *This will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it.
  3. Remove spinach from package and squeeze out excess liquid, then chop roughly. Heat 2-3 Tbsp of the oil in a large saute pan, and add shallots and scallions and saute until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach to the mixture, along with the parsley, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from heat to cool. (This part can be done ahead and kept refrigerated).
  4. Stir the feta and as much beaten egg to moisten the cooled spinach mixture.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a baking sheet with some of the melted butter.
  6. Unroll the phyllo dough on a flat surface and keep it covered with waxed paper and a damp towel so it doesn’t dry out and become brittle. Using a sharp knife, cut the phyllo into 3 by 11 inch strips, and recover with the towel. Use 3-4 pieces of phyllo dough and use a pastry to brush the top strip of phyllo with melted butter. Place a small spoonful of spinach filling 1 inch from the end of the pastry. Fold the end over the filling to form a triangle, then continue to fold up the strip in triangles, like folding up a flag. Continue with remaining strips of dough, placing filled triangles on the baking sheet and keeping them covered with a towel until all are ready to bake.
  7. Brush the triangles lightly with butter, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve hot. (These may be frozen before baking, layering waxed paper between layers of triangles to keep them from sticking. Bake frozen triangles an extra 10 minutes.)