Spanikopita

(The Moosewood Cookbook)

 

2 pounds fresh spinach                                            

5 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste                                           

2 cups cottage or pot cheese

1 cup chopped onion                                                

1 teaspoon dried basil

3 tablespoons butter                                                 

½ teaspoon oregano

2 cups crumbled feta cheese                                   

1 pound package filo dough, defrosted

2 tablespoons flour                                                  

½ pound melted butter

                                                                                 

whole anise or fennel seeds, optional

 

Clean, stem and chop the spinach.  Salt it lightly, and cook, adding no water, for five minutes.

 

Cook the onions in butter, salting lightly.  When soft, combine with remaining ingredients and spinach.

 

To Assemble: Spread melted butter on a 9 x 13" baking pan.  Place a strüdel (filo) leaf in the pan (it will outsize the pan.  Let the edges climb the sides) and brush generously with butter.  Keep layers of dough coming, one on top of another, brushing each with butter.  When you have a pile of 8 leaves, spread on half the filling.  Continue with another stack of 8 or so leaves (don’t skimp on the butter,) then apply the remaining filling, spreading it to the edges.  Fold the excess filo down along the edges, making tidy little corners.

 

Pile as many more layers of filo and butter as your baking pan will accommodate.  Butter the top-most leaf and sprinkle with a tablespoonful of whole anise or fennel seeds, if you have some on hand.

 

Bake uncovered, about 45 minutes, until golden.  This may be served hot, or at room temperature.  Makes 8 servings