Greek to Me
I don't often work with filo dough. Don't get me wrong. I really love it and can be reduced to a puddle of joy with a good piece of baklava. However, it's a bit on the fussy side and many of the most wonderful dishes that use it can take a long time to assemble, particularly when you're wrapping filo dough around amazing fillings. So imagine my felight when I figured out that the essentials of spanakopita can be nestled within a delectable quiche:
What makes this such a great dish is the combination of ingredients and the ease with which you can put it together. There's no chopping of spinach or sauteing of ingredients. Heck, I rather love that I put the spinach and bacon fat together, microwaved it a bit, and hand-mixed it to make the base of the filling items. Think of it like hand-mixing meatloaf, but with the amazing veggies that grace a good batch of spanakopita.
Now, if I was serving this as part of a brunch or dinner party, I'd flank it with an amazing Greek salad, flaky bread or biscuits, some fruit sweetened with honey and white wine, maybe a little yogurt swirled with honey and blueberries, and generous glasses of chilled white wine and fruit juice. And little bowls of olives to nibble on. Then, I'd sit with friends and family and spend hours talking, laughing, and relaxing over what can only be described as an ideal summer meal. Opa!
- 1 10-inch deep dish pie crust
- 8 oz. fresh spinach
- 1 T. bacon fat
- 1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
- 2 T. sliced green onions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 c. half & half
- 1/2 c. ricotta cheese
- 1 c. crumbled feta cheese (you can also use a combination of cheeses, including feta, for a prettier crust)
Preheat the oven to 400º F. Bake the pie crust, empty, for 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
Meanwhile, place the spinach and bacon fat in a large, microwaveable container with a lid. Cover and microwave for 1 minute. Carefully remove the lid and, using clean hands, massage the spinach until it is fully coated with the bacon fat and slightly wilted. Add the lemon pepper seasoning, green onions, and garlic and mix again to evenly mix. Sprinkle the greens into the bottom of the partially-baked crust.
Add the beaten eggs, half & half, and ricotta cheese to the bowl you just emptied. Stir to evenly combine.
Carefully pour the egg mixture over the greens in the crust. Sprinkle the top of the quiche with the crumbled cheese.
Bake the quiche for an additional 25-30 minutes or until the eggs are set and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Allow the quiche to cool for at least 20 minutes prior to serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
- Yields: 8 servings
- Preparation Time: 50 minutes, plus cooling time