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Elli's Spanakopita


Author Agapi Stassinopoulos shares her mother's recipe for the classic Greek dish. This version includes ricotta cheese for a sweeter taste.

Photography: Rob Tannenbaum

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, February 2012


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 6 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 small leeks, finely chopped
  • 3 pounds frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, rinsed, and squeezed to remove excess liquid
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 to 16 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 package 12-by-17-inch sheets phyllo, such as Apollo #4


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add dill, scallions, and leeks and cook, stirring, until scallions and leeks are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until heated through and well combined, about 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Transfer spinach mixture to a large bowl; transfer bowl to refrigerator until cooled, about 20 minutes.

  3. Add ricotta, feta, and Parmesan cheeses to cooled spinach mixture. Lightly beat 2 eggs and add to spinach mixture; stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

  4. Brush a 3-inch-deep, 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish with butter. Trim phyllo to size of pan. Working quickly and keeping remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap topped with a warm towel to keep moist, place one sheet of phyllo in prepared baking dish and brush with butter; top with another sheet. Repeat process until you have 10 sheets of phyllo in baking dish.

  5. Pour spinach mixture into baking dish. Top with another 10 layers of phyllo, tucking edges to seal and brushing with melted butter between each layer. Transfer to refrigerator until firm, 15 to 20 minutes.

  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly beat remaining egg and set aside.

  7. Remove spanakopita from refrigerator and, using a sharp knife, gently cut through the top layer of phyllo to create eight 5-by-2 1/2-inch pieces. Brush with beaten egg and transfer to oven. Bake until golden, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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