10 October 2007

Three Cheese Spinach Bake in Filo - WHB Anniversary

Three Cheese Spinach Bake in Filo
Weekend Herb Blogging has been in the forefront now for 2 years. Browsing through the archives Kalyn at Kalyn's Kitchen has received so many wonderful entries and recipes over the past 2 years since it's conception. Congratulations to her for a job well done!!! This has been an event that we have all thoroughly enjoyed for the past 2 years. It has been a thrill to read posts from around the world with all the exciting and creative dishes created by foodies out there in the blogosphere.


For my own entry this month I have decided to use spinach...a leafy vegetable....and dill.

Dill is either an herb or a spice depending on the part of the plant you utilize. Fresh and dried dill leaves referred to as "dill weed" are used as herbs. They are aromatic and best used fresh. Dill seed is used as a spice, with a flavour similar to caraway.


The name dill is thought to have originated from a Norse or Anglosaxon word "dylle" meaning to soothe or lull, the plant having the carminative property of relieving gas. Yes I did say that!!!

It has been used for its culinary and medicinal properties over the centuries. Dill was mentioned in the bible and in ancient Egyptian writings. It was popular also in the ancient Greek and Roman cultures, where it was considered a sign of wealth and was revered for it's healing properties.

Spinach, on the other hand, is a leafy vegetable and a Power Food!!! It is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, protein, phosphorous, zinc and vitamin E. In addition if is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin and selenium. Popeye had it right!!!!

Since the birth of my own blog a few months ago I have admired all the delicious entries to Weekend Herb Blogging from afar. This is one of my favourite dishes that I have decided to enter!!! It is similar in taste and texture to the Greek spanakopita and as some of you already know I love all things Greek!!!!

I serve it for brunch or a light lunch or dinner. Enjoy!!!

**Three Cheese Spinach Bake in Filo**

1/3 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
8 sheets filo dough, thawed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cup butter, melted
1/3 cup thinly green onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup finely snipped oil-packed dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried or fresh dill weed
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs, beaten
1-1/4 cups ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach , thawed, and well drained (squeeze out excess liquid)

Preheat oven to 325F.

Combine crumbs and Parmesan cheese; set aside. Unfold filo dough; remove 1 sheet of filo dough. (Cover remaining dough with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out). Lightly brush filo with some of the melted butter; sprinkle with 1 T Parmesan cheese mixture. Place another sheet on top of the first; brush with butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese mixture; repeat until all filo is used.

Gently ease filo into a 2-quart baking dish, pleating as necessary, be careful not to tear the dough. Trim edges with scissors so they extend 1/2-inch beyond the dish. Cover and set aside. Set remaining bread crumb mixture aside.

In a medium saucepan cook onions and minced garlic in hot oil for 1 minute; stir in flour and dried tomatoes. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Place beaten eggs in a medium bowl. Stir about 1/2 of the hot mixture into the eggs to temper them; return all to the saucepan. Stir in ricotta cheese or cottage cheese, dill, 1/2 cup of the feta cheese, and the spinach. Spoon into prepared dish. With scissors, snip extended filo at 1-inch intervals. Top with remaining feta cheese and the remaining Parmesan crumb mixture.

Bake uncovered, in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until egg mixture is set and golden brown. Let stand 10 - 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6 - 8

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison
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21 comments:

  1. What a great doubly delicious entry! I do love Spanakopita, and I even have a Greek friend who has taught me to say it with the proper syllables accented and everything! This sounds like a very creative variation of it. I'm so glad to know you've been enjoying WHB, thanks for helping us celebrate the anniversary!

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  2. I think dill is one of the most underrated herbs. I use it a lot. It goes beautifully with sour cream.

    I have never thought to use it with spinach. What a great idea.

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  3. Very tasty and the phyllo looks great! I'm also glad you mixed ricotta with feta. Some (even Greeks) don't "get" that feta on it's own is too strong for these delicate pies...BRAVO!

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  4. What time should I be over for dinner? This looks delicious, Valli! :)

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  5. Thaks for the warm welcome Kalyn.I have been watching and admiring the WHB since the birth of my blog.
    Yes KJ, dill is an underrated herb...not just for dill pickles this time of the year.
    I love spanakopita any way it's made!!!!! My daughter has loved it since the age of 2!
    You are always welcome Canarygirl!!!!!

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  6. I like, I like, I love spinach, mmm and cheese, with filo dough, really I like a lot. xxxxGloria

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  7. This sounds amazing! And I love dill - I will be planting some next year!

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  8. Wrap something in filo and you just can't go wrong! looks good.

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  9. i have to make this tonight-looks so good.

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  10. How I'd love a slab of this, hot and steaming from the oven. I don't know if I could wait for it to cool down. Guess I'd have to console myself with a little cucumber salad. : )

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  11. Yum Valli, this looks so flaky and "yumtious"! I used to grow dill when I lived in Ohio as it took up lots of space. I have not tried it down here in a container yet. It is such a great herb!

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  12. Gloria & E...you simply have to try it!
    Deborah & Wine Deb too..if you two some dill plant plenty as you will have to send me some!
    Everything is wonderful in filo Katerina!!
    Each to their own Susan. I like it hot, warm cold, sitting on the counter for days....

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  13. That looks delicious! I love savory spinach pastries.

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  14. Beautiful job with the filo, Valli.
    This looks very elegant.

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  15. Dill is one of my favorite herbs. This dish sounds really tasty!

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  16. Dill is probably the most popular herb here in Northern Europe - I bought a huge bunch from the market only yesterday :)
    Great entry, Valli - spanakopita is a wonderful Greek dish indeed.

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  17. I relly like the addition of sun-dried tomatoes and dill, sounds like a real treat!

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  18. Oh, that sounds wonderful! and you bake it in a baking dish rather than parcels - so you get to put lots more goodies (like the tomatoes) in! Well done!

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  19. Oh, I love spinach, and I love dill...what a nice combination, Valli. I've never worked with filo dough, though I'd love to. Is it difficult to handle, being so thin? I just always figure I'll make a big huge torn up mess of it! :-)

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  20. Filo or phyllo dough is not hard to work with. It can be a little intimidating if you have not used it before. I work with it so quickly that it does not have a chance to dry out. The layers come away from the package quite easily and, depending on the company that makes it, it is sometimes a little bit thicker so even easier to work with!!!

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  21. My cousin made something very similar to these and for the longest time I tried to duplicate it but could never some close to what she had made. It turns out she used a bit of fresh ground nutmeg in the cheese mixture. Yours looks very good!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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