Monday, January 17, 2011

Quick & Easy Spinach Turnovers

After work last Friday I made a beeline for home. Nothing was going to divert me from the most direct route away from work to the refuge of my favorite chair, a glass of wine and a good book. I did not stop at the market, or even make the customary call to say I was on the way. If I had a plan for dinner, I don't remember it. Fend for yourself seemed like a good approach to the evening. As it turned out, company was coming for an impromptu happy hour. For some reason I cannot simply throw a bag of chips in a bowl and set it out. For one thing, I rarely have a bag of chips around -- they tend not to last long around here. But I did have a package of phyllo dough in the freezer and a fresh bag of spinach. That, along with a few staples and some dried spices, was sufficient to put together a quickie version of Spanokopita, or a spinach pie. In fact, these single serving editions had the advantage of being finger food. They also took only a fraction of the time the traditional dish takes. A variety of other fillings comes to mind, too.

They are best served at room temperature, or just slightly warmer. Leftovers make an easy lunch. 

1 roll phyllo dough (1/2 a package), thawed
4 cups fresh chopped spinach
3/4 cup chopped onion, leeks, or combination
3 oz feta cheese
1/3 c cream cheese
1/2 t dill
1/4 t mint
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
2 T olive or canola oil

Saute onions in oil until fragrant and transparent. Add spices and saute for another 2 minutes, mixing well with onions. Add chopped spinach and cook until wilted.

Turn of the heat and gather the mixture into a patty. Press out as much liquid as possible. It helps to press the mixture between paper towels.

Mix in the feta and cream cheese. Adjust spices to taste.

Remove three sheets of phyllo from the stack. (Keep the remaining sheets covered so that they don't dry out.) Brush or spray the top sheet with oil and  cut lengthwise into two strips. Place a spoonful of filling at the lower corner of one phyllo strip, then fold from bottom to top into a triangle, like folding a flag. Spray or brush the top of each turnover. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Yield: 12 turnovers

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