Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spanakopita Bars

We had a big Greek party a few weekends ago.  Here is how we pulled it off.
I made pastitsio the morning of the party and didn't bake it until an hour before the party began.
I made spanakopita bars also the morning of the party after I had put the pastitsio together and served the bars at room temperature.
I made tzatziki sauce the night before because the flavors need time to blend.
My husband made Greek meatballs the night before and they were kept warm in a crockpot during the party.
He prepped a salad the night before, chopping everything he needed, and did not dress it until right before the guests arrived.
He made rice when guests started arriving.

We also had some cheeses, olives, dates, roasted red peppers, honey, olive oils and pita bread.  The party was potluck so our friends brought many other things to enjoy.  I was very impressed that one of our friends made gyro meat using this Alton Brown recipe!

I thought a casserole type spanakopita would be faster to put together than making individual triangles.  I'm so glad I chose to do it that way because the phyllo was delicate and tearing a lot. 

Spanakopita Bars
Filling Ingredients
  • 2 pounds washed spinach
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • diced scallions, white and green part
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 10 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsely
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • salt to taste
1 Package frozen phyllo dough
olive oil for brushing pan and phyllo dough

In a large pan with lid, add bunches of spinach and wilt.  I would half cover the pan with the lid to steam the spinach and then added more as it wilted.  Transfer all the wilted spinach to a colander and let drain.
Heat oil in a pan, add scallions and minced garlic, and heat until softened.
Add the spinach to the pan with the scallions and garlic.
Let cool before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Add feta and parmesan cheeses, chopped dill and parsely, the two beaten eggs, nutmeg, and salt.

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees F

Pour some olive oil in a bowl and have a pastry brush handy.
This next part was done with my husband.  It seems like a two person job.

Brush olive oil on the bottom and sides of a 9x13x2 pan.  
Lay phyllo sheets across the pan so the edges come up and over the edges. We did not count them, we just laid a few sheets in the pan until we had good coverage.  Should be about half of one roll of phyllo.  We bought frozen phyllo dough and the package had two rolls. 
Brush the phyllo sheets with olive oil.
Spread filling evenly over the olive oil coated phyllo sheets.
Repeat the layering and olive oil process to cover the top of the pan.
With a knife, score the top layers of phyllo into 24 squares.
Bake until the top is golden brown, 35-45 minutes.  Mine took closer to 45 minutes.
Cut into squares and serve.

This recipe can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature or warmed through which is exactly what I did.  Perfect for a party!