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Turkish Spinach Pie

Turkish Spinach Pie

Prep time: 15-20 mins

Cook time: 45 mins

Yield: 6-8 servings

This recipe has its roots in both Greece and Turkey, where my family lived for many generations. Traditionally this dish was also made with a flakey crust and is known as borek. Turkish Jews love the combination of spinach with anything, especially lots of cheese. We serve it alongside Greek salad and drizzle it with a balsamic glaze. The recipe itself is flexible: you can add caramelized onions, finely chopped cooked potatoes, garlic or even golden sultana raisins for additional flavor. Photo by Moshe Zusman Photography Studio. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 4 bags frozen spinach, cooked and drained (or 4 cups cooked spinach)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (reserve 1 cup for topping)
  • 1½ cups crumbled feta, divided (reserve ½ cup for topping)
  • 1 cup farmer's cheese (can also substitute cottage cheese, ricotta or chèvre)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or any other sharp-tasting cheese)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup cooked caramelized onions (optional)

Preparation

  • Fill a large pot with water, salt lightly and bring to a rolling boil. Add spinach to pot. Cook until completely thawed. Note that spinach will reduce substantially after it's cooked; you should be left with about 4 cups of cooked spinach.
  • Once spinach is cooked, drain all water from the pot. Make sure to squeeze the spinach to ensure that all water is released. Let spinach cool to lukewarm.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13-inch (3-quart) glass or ceramic baking dish. Transfer cooked spinach to a bowl, add cheese (except for the cheese reserved for topping), salt, pepper, eggs, garlic, breadcrumbs and caramelized onions, if using. Mix ingredients thoroughly until well blended.
  • Add mixture to pan, smoothing the top (pie will rise slightly as it cooks). Sprinkle reserved mozzarella and feta cheese on top and bake uncovered for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the middle comes out clean. Let cool and then slice.

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