Thursday, July 5, 2012

Spamkopita (Spinach Pie)

We've had a package of filo dough in the freezer for month now.  I think we purchased it with a gift certificate we received at Christmas to our co-op.  Neither Matt nor I had ever cooked anything with filo and thought it might be fun to try.  I had fuzzy memories of eating it in baklava in grade school, but that was my only experience with filo.  It was a food we'd not usually purchase so the Christmas gift certificate seemed a perfect chance to try it out.  And then it sat in the freezer for six months. 

As I've mentioned we're trying to eat greens in everything because we've had such a wonderful bounty from the garden this year.  Matt seemed to remember a recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance that was basically spinach, tofu, and filo dough so we dug it out and gave it a go.  As usual, we tweaked it to our liking and cupboard contents.

First, I would just like to say that filo is odd.  It seems like you are cooking with paper.  But, the taste is nothing like paper!

The pie was delicious and hearty.  For having no cheese and no red sauce it struck me as smacking of lasagna.  I don't know why exactly.   Maybe it was the layers or the fact that we used to make a spinach-tofu filling for ravioli.    In any case, it was superb and used up quite a bit of those greens.
 We saved just enough of the filo dough to roll up some of our canned apples and make a little filo apple "pie" log for dessert.  It was excellent.  Flaky, buttery, apple goodness. 
Filo apple "pie"
All told I'd say the filo was a superb cooking experiment.  I don't know that I'll be buying filo regularly, but I will certainly keep an eye out for if it ever goes on sale.  I just might like to recreate this whole meal over again.

Spamkopita (Spinach Pie)
  • ½ c olive oil
  • 3 pounds fresh spinach, cleaned and trimmed
  • 6 green onions, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds firm tofu, pressed
  • 1/3 c lemon juice
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • dash of nutmeg
  • ¼ c nutritional yeast
  • 1 t salt
  • pepper
  • 1 pound filo pastry
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Oil a 9x13 inch baking pan.
Heat 2 T oil. 
Add spinach, green onion, and garlic.
Saute, stirring frequently until the spinach is wilted and the liquid that has sweated out has boiled away.
Set aside this mixture.

Drain tofu, wrap in towels and press out excess liquid, using a weight if needed.  (We use the dictionary!)
Place in a bowl and mash it up with your hands.
Add spinach mixture, lemon juice, nutmeg, 1/4 olive oil, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. 
Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Lay out a sheet of filo on the oiled pan.  It will drape over the sides of the pan.
Brush filo with oil, lay another on top and repeat for several sheets (5-8) to form the bottom crust.
Spread half of the the spinach mixture on top of this bottom layer.
Lay out another 5-8 sheets of filo as above.
Add the rest of the spinach mixture.
Place remainder of filo on top.
Brush the top with oil and tuck the overhanging edges of the filo into the pan
Bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes, until the filo is brown and crispy.

8 comments:

  1. Yummy, yum, yum. I had spamikopita in Greece years ago. I think it probably had cream cheese or something rather than tofu, but, Oh my, was it good. I am sure this one was too.

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    1. The cookbook said it was a vegan take on a Greek classic, but I must say I don't think I've ever eaten Greek food! Have you done much travel abroad? I've found the food experiences to be some of my favorite memories of my journey to Europe years ago.

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  2. Beth,
    You have such a contented look on your face!

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  3. I love filo pastry! Thank you so much for this recipe - we are always on the lookout for tasty new vegan things. Will print it out to try. xx

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    1. I hope you enjoy it. We really, really did. Filo is strange and amazing stuff. It is so flaky and good! But it really did feel like paper when we were handling in during the preparation stage.

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  4. We have a wonderful Greek restaurant in our little town in SC that serves wonderful spinach pie. You've inspired me to try to make it! Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. It was surprisingly easy. Happy cooking!

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