While we may see light at the end of the winter tunnel, and even if the temperature reaches twenty-some degrees (above zero!) it’s still comfort food season—and pot pies have a cozy and comforting nature that makes them a perfect warming dish. They can take many forms, too. Update this classic comfort food with a little Greek flavor in this recipe by cookbook author Elinor Klivans, which appeared in Real Food.
This pot pie version of the Greek cheese and spinach turnover called spanakopita loads the traditional feta filling with even more cheese, as well as fresh dill and parsley. Store-bought phyllo pastry produces a crisp topping. The generous size and do-ahead preparation also make this an ideal party dish. To keep phyllo pastry soft and pliable, cover it with plastic wrap and a damp dish towel during preparation. It’s a dose of healthy greens with comforting cheese!
Greek Three-Cheese Spinach and Onion Pot Pie
Makes 12 servings
Phyllo Pastry Topping:
6 phyllo pastry sheets (about 17 x 13 inches each), defrosted if frozen
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 10-oz. packages frozen, chopped spinach, defrosted
2 c. ricotta cheese
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
8 oz. jack cheese, grated
2 large eggs
3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.
Stack 6 phyllo pastry sheets. Using bottom of baking dish as a guide and kitchen scissors, cut 6 pieces of phyllo 1 inch larger all around than baking dish. Immediately cover cut sheets of phyllo completely with plastic wrap and damp dish towel. Set aside.
In a medium frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Set aside.
Place spinach in a strainer resting over a medium bowl and press firmly on spinach to press out liquid. Discard liquid.
In large bowl, stir together onion, drained spinach, ricotta, feta, jack cheese, eggs, dill, parsley, salt, and black pepper. Spread half of filling in baking dish. Cover with 2 pieces of the phyllo pastry. Brush pastry lightly with melted butter. Top with one piece of phyllo. Tuck in any overhanging edges. Spread remaining filling over phyllo. Top with 2 more pieces of phyllo and brush lightly with butter. Top with remaining phyllo sheet and brush with butter. Use a sharp knife to mark 12 squares by cutting through top layers of pastry.
Bake until phyllo topping is golden and filling is bubbling gently, about 45 minutes. Use sharp knife to cut through marked squares. Remove squares and serve hot.
(If covered tightly and refrigerated, pot pie can be assembled early in day and baked later. Cold pot pie will probably need to bake an additional 5 minutes.)