Spanakopita and improvised orzo

Technically, I think this would actually be called “horapita” because it is a mix of spinach and mustard greens. The salad is the Greek salad I grew up with, I know they have more than one kind of salad in Greece, but this is what everyone calls Greek salad in the US. Actually, it is not exactly the Greek salad I grew up with. In the Tampa area, Tarpon Springs specifically, there is always a pile of good-ol-fashioned Americana potato salad at the bottom. I haven’t had this in years, but I’m meaning to try it at home sometime.  The orzo was something I basically made up, but it had delicious results.

Greek salad:

Not all of these are necessary, I left out the beets and peperoncini because I didn’t have them, but as many different things as possible is good.  I like this (and most salads, I guess) with a high vegetable to lettuce ratio.

  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • red onion
  • cucumber
  • bell pepper
  • pickled beets
  • peperoncini
  • kalamata olives
  • feta cheese
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice (fresh!)
  • minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • dill and/or oregano

For the dressing, mix about even measures of olive oil and lemon juice. Add garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. As for the salad itself, chop and mix.

Spanakopita:

I don’t have photos to show you how to fold these, but I can tell you it is like making a paper football. It doesn’t even matter too much as long as two requirements are fulfilled: (a) the dough is properly brushed with oil, (b) the filling somehow gets completely encased by dough. If you accomplish those, you will get tasty, if not pretty, spanakopita.

  • 1 lb spinach (or a mix of spinach and mustard greens/kale/collards/etc)
  • 6 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • dill: 1/2 tbsp dried or 2 tbsp fresh
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • salt, pepper, and nutmeg
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/4 lb feta cheese, crumbled
  • as much phyllo dough as needed (around 1/4 lb, probably)
  • a bunch more olive oil

Wash the greens and cook on low, covered, in their own liquid until soft. Drain well and chop finely. Saute the green onion in 2 tbsp olive oil until soft. Add the greens and cook gently for a few minutes until well incorporated. Stir in the dill, parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Let cool.

Heat the oven to 375. Mix the eggs and cheese into the spinach mixture. Cut the sheets of dough into long strips which are 4-6 inches across. I just cut the sheet of prepackaged stuff in half lengthwise. Brush a strip with olive oil, place another on top, and brush again. Place filling in a top corner of the strip, then fold triangles over successively until the whole thing is a triangle package. Brush the outside with oil. Repeat until all filling is used. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Orzo with Almonds and Anchovies:

  • 1 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1 tin anchovies in olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 dried red chiles, broken in half (or to taste), or crushed red pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Boil the orzo in well salted water until done, then drain. Heat the olive oil on medium-low, cook the almonds until golden. Add the garlic, chiles, and anchovies, cook until the anchovies dissolve. Mix with the orzo, adding a little water if needed.

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About tandooritaco

This is a blog about food.
This entry was posted in greek, pasta, salad, vegetables, vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink.

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