Tag Archives: spinach

Better than a Greek restaurant Spanakopita

I recently had spanakopita in a Greek restaurant, and I promise this version is better than anywhere I’ve ever had it. Except maybe in Greece. If you make this and know of a place that makes it better, let me know. I’ll be there tomorrow.

Better than a Greek restaurant Spanakopita: Ingredients
5 10oz boxes frozen chopped spinach (Birds Eye brand is best)
2 8oz bricks of Athenos feta cheese
1 16oz tub cottage cheese (2% milk or less)
1/2 tsp dill (I don’t like dill, so I don’t use it. Add it to the spinach mix if you want)
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 large white onion, diced
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, unseasoned
1 sleeve/pack filo dough
1 tsp olive oil

A few hours ahead of making Directions:
1. If you buy phyllo dough frozen, thaw it out.
2. Unwrap the boxes of spinach, place in a bowl and thaw them out. When they are un-frozen, squeeze out the water in a colander.
3. Saute diced onion and green onions in some olive oil for 3-4 minutes, or until a little golden and set aside to cool.

When everything is unthawed/cooled Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°
2. In a large bowl, mix spinach, cottage cheese, bread crumbs and onions together. Crumble in the feta.
3. Pam a 14×9 glass baking dish .
4. Roll out the phyllo dough and place a sheet on the bottom of the pan. Spray each layer w/ Pam… or brush some olive oil/melted butter on each layer. Do this a 3-5 times to create a bottom layer.
5. Drop the spinach mix in the to the baking dish and spread/even out.
6. Add 5-7 layers of phyllo on top of the mixture, still Pam’ing/buttering each layer including the top.
7. Bake for 45mins-1 hour. If it looks dry, you can reduce the oven temp to about 300° after about 45mins.

Don’t let rolling out phyllo dough scare you, Youtube to the rescue here to teach you have to roll it out. I can’t say I really know how considering my Mom made this whole thing from start to finish. Thanks Mom!

This is best served with a greek salad… those I haven’t been able to make better than a Greek restaurant or Greece.

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CSA box #6

I finally got the honor of being able to walk down to French Meadow to pick up the CSA box and this weeks box was heavy! Our CSA boxes keep getting bigger and bigger and soon we are going to probably have to turn vegan to keep up with all of our veggies.

I feel like I say this every week but… Jackpot!! From the top: baby spinach, beets, salad greens, basil, yukon gold and new potatoes, broccoli, fresh garlic, green beans, cucumber, yellow squash and zucchini.

What would you do with those beets?

CSA box #5

Another Friday, another green CSA box! This week: spinach, kale, green leaf lettuce, basil, kohlrabi, green beans, snow peas, garlic scapes, two zucchini and one yellow squash.

I’m glad we finally got kale so I can try Kale Chips! This box was so exciting that I’ve already used the basil, the yellow squash and a green squash. Stay tuned!

 

 

CSA box #1

This year, I decided to sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share from Featherstone Farm.

What is a CSA? According to Featherstone Farm’s website:

“Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a form of subscription farming that helps family farms become and remain sustainable.  Shareholders pay before the season starts so that the farm can use the funds in the least profitable times of year (when seeds are purchased and planting begins, but there are no real sales to serve as income).  In return for their investment, shareholders receive a box of produce each week during the season.  These boxes are delivered at dropsites throughout the communities the CSA serves.  While the investment is not 100% without risk because no one ever knows when the weather will impact the crops, shareholders can expect a consistent weekly box delivery throughout most seasons.”

It’s my first year, and I’m really excited. Every Friday I get box of surprises and get to attempt to cook with vegetables I love or maybe never tried before. I’m also excited to eat organic food that was picked a few days ago and not feel guilty for sleeping in on a Saturday and missing the best produce at the Farmers Market.

Brent has Fridays off (lucky!) and will be getting the goods for us. I’m pretty jealous that he gets to see it first, but he’s a good guy and he sent me a picture.

Green garlic, asparagus, spinach, radishes, mixed salad greens and rhubarb were in box #1. I can’t wait to cook with all this stuff, and be able to post the recipes all summer long!

So… what should I do with all that rhubarb?!

So. Much. Pasta.

This weekend, Brent’s family was in town. They are in town a lot considering Brent’s sister Megan is going to give birth sometime within the next two weeks. We were called to come on over!

We got up to Megan + Sam’s house and after a rousing time including someone (read: me) breaking a dining room chair (if someone tells you the chair is about to break, do not taunt the chair owner by jumping on it… it will break.)… we went into the kitchen to start cooking.

I had no clue that we’d be cooking, so this was kind of surprise blogpurtunity (blog opportunity, new word). Excuse the camera-phone pics.

Anyhoo, Brent’s family is a meat and food-loving crew. His Mom knows I don’t eat meat so she talked to her friend with a vegetarian daughter and got some recipes from her. Nice, right?

First up we started making Spinach Manicotti.

The Ingredient List:

  • 1 carton (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 jars (28 ounces each) Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 package (8 ounces) manicotti shells

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Cook manicotti noodles according to directions on the package, drain and allow to cool. (You could put these in a bowl of ice water for a few seconds to cool them quickly, or just run them under cold water.)

3. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, onion and egg. Season with parsley, pepper and garlic powder. Mix in 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan.

4. Spread 1 cup sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Stuff manicotti shells with ricotta mixture, and arrange in a single layer in the dish. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

stuffing

single file manicotti line.

4. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.

cook until it looks like this.

This was good, but needed some more flavor. I’d recommend using fresh garlic in place of garlic powder (a clove or so) and a more flavorful cheese inside in addition to the mozzarella, maybe an Italian cheese blend. I also am all for making your own spaghetti sauce when there is time for it. It always tastes better. The recipe also calls for one egg to bind the ricotta mixture together, but I find that to be unnecessary so I’d leave it out.

Next… it was time to make some more pasta! Brent’s mom decided to double the recipe below.

Cheese Tortellini + Vegetable Primavera

The Ingredient List

  • 1  (13-ounce) package Cheese Tortellini (we used Butoni mixed cheese)
  • 1/2  bunch (8 ounces) asparagus
  • 1  zucchini, diced
  • 3  tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil
  • 2  tomatoes, diced
  • small amount of olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2  cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions

1. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Cut tips from asparagus, and place in a bowl. Cut remaining asparagus into 1/4-inch pieces; add to bowl. Dice tomato and zucchini.

Brent getting in on the chopping fun.

2. Sauté asparagus, green onions, and zucchini in hot olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, and cook 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Stir pasta into asparagus mixture, and sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.

dinner all together

The tortellini primavera was pretty good, but, it was missing garlic. I’ll repurpose the 2 HUGE tubs of leftovers with some pesto to give it a little more of a kick. I might also cook it up with some parsley, red pepper flakes, garlic + parmesan. (Anyone want to come over for leftovers?)

Brent’s mom added salad and some garlic bread and we were ready to go. The dinner (shown all together above) left five meat eaters and myself satisfied.

What do you make to feed a large group of hungry people?