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We've been sharing #VeganFriday recipes on Instagram, tasty meat & dairy-free dishes that are perfect for those fasting during Lent, and this Vegan Greek Spanakopita comes just in time for March 14th's Pi Day. The recipe combines the traditional flavors of classic Greek spanakópita but without the feta cheese and eggs often used to bind the filling. Juicy, and full of fragrant fresh herbs, spinach, & extra virgin olive oil, it's a real crowd-pleaser.
6 tsp of Tragano Greek Organics or Philippos Hellenic Goods Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the filling + 1/2-1 cup of extra virgin olive oil for the filo dough
2 pounds leeks, chopped
4 pounds fresh spinach, cleaned & chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
Salt and pepper
One package traditional phyllo (filo) dough
Preheat your oven to 380°F.
First make the spinach & herb filling:
Put 6 tbsp of olive oil and the chopped leeks in a large pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the leeks are soft and translucent.
Add the spinach to the pot and stir until it softens and wilts. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture has absorbed its liquid (if you're short on time, you can let the greens cook for 10 minutes and then drain the pot).
Remove the greens from the heat and let them cool for a few minutes before placing in a large bowl. Add the chopped green onions, mint & dill and mix well. Salt & pepper to taste and set aside.
Now put it all together!
Grease with olive oil a large (at least 9 1/2 x 11) pan and place a sheet of filo dough on the bottom of the pan, allowing it to come up the sides.
Brush the sheet with some olive oil and then place a second layer on top, but without pressing down on the filo sheet. You want to keep some air in between the sheets, so let there be creases in the filo dough!
Continue layering and oiling until you've placed about two-thirds of the filo sheets on the bottom of the pan.
Add the spinach filling, spreading it evenly across the pan. Fold in the filo leaves that have come up the side of the pan and brush with more olive oil.
Then place your remaining filo leaves on top of the filling, brushing each one with olive oil before you place the next one on top. When you're done, fold in any overhanging sheets so your spanakópita has a nice even look.
Wet the surface with a bit of water or baking soda (it makes your dough crisper!). Score the top layers with a sharp knife into 12 pieces.
Bake on the middle-bottom rack for about 60 minutes or until well browned.
Let cool for 30 minutes and serve.
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