Spanakopita

So it's kinda in my DNA to love Greek food (my dad is 50% Greek) but I had never actually attempted a Greek recipe before today. This was surprisingly...dare I say easy...?  I mean, yeah you have to layer phyllo dough but other than that, it's a one bowl recipe. It's also insanely delicious! The red pepper flakes give it some heat, the lemon zest gives it that citrus kick and the feta cheese brings everything together with its signature tang. I kept peeking on it cooking in the oven and it was literally oozing butter...#FoodieApproved.

Spanakopita
20 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
14 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pinch kosher salt and black pepper
16 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, eggs, olive oil, feta, parmesan, basil, dill, oregano, lemon zest, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. 
  3. Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough on the prepared baking sheet and brush the phyllo with melted butter. Repeat, layering 3 more times, placing the sheets of dough over top each other. Now brush another sheet of dough with butter and place perpendicular to the bottom layer, creating an X. Repeat this layer 3 more times. Brush another sheet of dough with butter and place slightly off center of the x. Repeat this layer 3 more times. Simplistically, you are using 12 sheets of phyllo dough, 4 layers, in 3 different directions, like a star. 
  4. Take the spinach filling and spoon it onto the center of your phyllo dough star, leaving about 2 inches of edge space. Bring the edges of the dough up and over the spinach.
  5. Brush 4 sheets of phyllo dough with butter and layer over top of the spinach, crinkling them slightly to fit. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the dough. 
  6. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until phyllo is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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