Spinach and Three Cheese Triangles
Little spinach-cheese triangles are probably among the most familiar Greek party foods. This recipe is enriched with several kinds of cheese[ and fresh herbs. The triangles may also be fried. Seal the seam of each triangle closed by brushing with a little water. Heat 2 inches of olive or other vegetable oil in a large skillet and fry the triangles a few at a time. Remove when golden, drain on paper towels, and serve.]
- Total Time:
- 45 min
- 15 min
- 30 min
- about 36 triangles
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing pastry
- 2 cups chopped, blanched, drained spinach (about 6 cups fresh or 1 pound frozen and defrosted)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup ouzo (Greek-style anise liqueur)
- 1 cup (about 4 ounces) crumbled feta
- 1 cup (about 4 ounces) crumbled Greek manouri cheese or ricotta salata
- 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) fresh anthotyro, whole-milk ricotta, or farmer's cheese
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1 pound (about 18 sheets) commercial phyllo, defrosted and at room temperature
- Olive or other vegetable oil for frying, as needed
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat and saute the spinach and herbs for a few minutes until all their liquid has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the ouzo and as soon as it boils off, remove the mixture from the heat. Set aside to cool a little.
Combine the spinach and herb mixture with the cheeses in a large bowl. Add the egg and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush a sheet pan with oil, then line it with parchment paper. Place the phyllo vertically in front of your on your work surface. Using a sharp knife, cut lengthwise into 4 equal columns. Stack and cover with a dry kitchen towel and immediately on top of that place a damp kitchen towel.
Remove the first phyllo sheet and place it vertically in front of you. Brush lightly with olive oil. Place another sheet on top and brush that lightly, too. Place a teaspoon of the filling on the bottom right-hand corner of the phyllo and fold up like a flag in order to form a small triangle. Place on the baking sheet seam side down. Cover with a kitchen towel as you continue with the remaining filling and phyllo. Brush all the triangles with olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the triangles are lightly golden and puffy. Remove and serve.
Recipe courtesy Diane Kochilas, Meze: Small Plates to Savor and Share from the Mediterranean Table, HarperCollins 2003