By: Eleni Saltas
Once upon a time, I set out to make a spanakopita—the authentic Greek pie filled with spinach, cheese, and herbs. I had all the ingredients arrange on my kitchen counter—spinach, cheese, and herbs. What I failed to grab from the freezer aisle that day was phyllo dough, which is a pretty crucial component to a Greek pie.
No phyllo meant no pie for the night. Or so I thought. That same period of time I was a week into creating and posting recipes on my social media for “the 12 dips of Christmas”, which was something I made up to share a dip a day leading up to Christmas. As I still needed a few more dips to post, I took a glance at the ingredients on my counter and thought “artichoke dip but Greeky.” That’s how this spanakopita (filling) dip came to be.
It’s simple really, and something I’ll make over and over again for myself and dinner guests. The dip begins with a saute of onions and leeks. Next, spinach is added to the pan, followed by a mix of cheese and herbs. Once the ingredients are well combined and filled into a dish and sent to bake, all that’s left to do is wait for the oven do its work. The final ending to this great story is grabbing some bread, crostini’s or vegetables, and dip away with those you’re willing to share with.
2 medium leeks, finely chopped
6 spring onions, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil, plus more for the pot
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
12 ounces fresh spinach
16 ounces feta (I prefer a block in brine)
1 bunch of fresh dill, chopped
4 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces soft plain goat cheese
Pepper, to taste
- Pinch of chili flakes (optional)
Step by Step Instructions
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Use just the white and a small portion of green parts of the leeks. Carefully clean the leeks by peeling the layers apart under a stream of water, then halve and dice the leeks.
Place a nonstick pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Add your leeks and green onions and saute until soft. Add the butter, then lightly tear up spinach leaves and add to the pot in batches. The spinach will shrink in the pan so add a little add a time if your pan is over flowing. Saute in pan until the spinach softens.
Add all the contents to a mixing bowl. Crumble the feta into the bowl and then add dill, cream cheese and soft goat cheese. Season lightly with pepper and chili flakes if desired. Stir until combined well.
Add a drizzle of olive oil to a clay pot or shallow baking dish and add the mixture. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes until nice and gooey.
Serve warm with a fresh baguette, pita chips, or vegetables and enjoy!