This Sunday marks the end of winter. Well, not officially by way of the calendar and moon, but our governing officials have deemed it the end of winter whites with the setting forward of clocks across the land thanks to Daylight Savings Time. In every state except Arizona, that is. What’s up with Arizona’s special treatment anyway?
Springing forward means much to many: spring bulbs bursting from crusty patches of dirt as kids bound about searching for Easter eggs; a sense of anxiety knowing that swimsuit wearing is just around the corner; and afternoons of lazily cat napping in a lounge chair as the sun warms your 4-months-previously-frozen-apendages.
However, Daylight Savings means something entirely different if you’re a food blogger. It means there will be light. Light! LIGHT I TELL YOU! Light to photograph dishes a bit later than normal, to make our days that much more productive. Or at least to compensate for the procrastination that nap in the lounge chair took out of the schedule. Eeeh. Who cares about schedules when you have spring fever?
This little greek inspired appetizer of Spinach and Feta Pies is a great welcome to spring. Light but savory, these phyllo wrapped tastees are great as an appetizer, or pair a few with a side dish of Laurie’s Lemon Orzo Pasta and you have a simple meatless meal. Can you say Monday with me? One of the things I like best about these beauties is they’re equally as tasty warm from the oven or cooled at room temperature so they’re perfect for entertaining too.
- 1 8-ounce sleeve frozen phyllo dough, thawed at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons plus ½ cup butter , divided
- 1 shallot , chopped
- 1 pound fresh spinach leaves
- zest of one lemon
- 2 eggs , beaten
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 ½ cups feta cheese , crumbled
- 1 cup pine nuts , toasted
- In a non-stick fry pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the spinach in 3 batches tossing and cooking each batch until it wilts before adding the next batch. Season with kosher salt and cook for about 8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a colander and gently squeeze excess water from the leaves. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
- Mix the spinach mixture with the lemon zest, eggs, panko bread crumbs, feta, and pine nuts. Stir to combine.
- In the microwave or in a small pan, melt the remaining ½ cup of butter. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough flat on the counter and brush lightly with butter. Repeat the process 2 more times, brushing the next layer with melted butter but leaving the top layer plain. Cut the stacked phyllo sheets into 3-inch wide long strips. Place a scoop of filling in the bottom corner of the dough strip and fold from corner to corner, diagonally, like a flag. Fold again over the flat end, then on the diagonal again. Continue folding to the top of sheet. Brush the edge of triangle with butter to seal. Place each triangle on a baking sheet and cover lightly with a dish towel. Continue folding hand pies in same manner until the filling is gone.
- Brush the tops of the triangles with butter. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
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