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Greek spinach and pastry casserole


  • ½ c olive oil (not to be used all at once)
  • 2 c onion, minced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • pounds fresh spinach, cleaned and de-stemmed and chopped coarsely
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 pound feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 c ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pound phyllo pastry leaves – thawed!


  1. Turn your oven to 375 now so it’s preheated later.
  2. In a big-ass pot, saute the onion in 2 tablespoons of the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat, just until they become slightly translucent.
  3. Add the salt and herbs. Stir it around.
  4. Add the spinach and garlic and stir that around. You will have to add the spinach a few handfuls at a time to make it all fit. Add some, stir it around until it wilts, then add more.
  5. When all the spinach is in there and wilted, sprinkle the flour over, stir well, and reduce the heat to low. The flour will absorb the spinach liquid and make the filling more firmer.
  6. While the spinach simmers, begin layering the phyllo sheets in the baking pan. Brush a little of the remaining ½ cup of oil on the bottom of the pan. Lay in a sheet of phyllo and brush some oil on it, too. Layer about 10 more sheets with oil on each.
  7. By now the spinach should be looking good and thick. Add all the cheese and black pepper. Stir it up good and plop it into the pan on top of the phyllo. Spread it evenly.
  8. Top that with more layers of phyllo and oil. You will blow through about ¾ of the pack of phyllo dough.
  9. Tuck the edges of the phyllo all in and under so it’s not sticking up over the lip of the pan. Spread liberally with the oil, especially the periphery.
  10. VERY IMPORTANT: Before cooking, you must cut it into squares. Cutting will be impossible to do nicely afterwards. Use a sharp knife to cut it into 12 squares, cutting all the way through the layers.
  11. Put the (very heavy) pan in the oven now and bake it about 45 minutes until golden and crispy.
  12. Let it cool 10 minutes or longer while you make a tomato salad and open a bottle of Pinot Grigio or some other light wine.

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