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March 26, 2019

Spanakopita, also known as spinach pie, a flaky Greek pastry made with phyllo dough and filled with cheese and spinach has been a staple in Greek cuisine for hundreds of years. While the origins of spanakopita are difficult to trace, some say it may have originated in Epirus, northwestern Greece, over 400 years ago.

Spanakopita (span-ah- koh -pee-tah) dates back to the Ottoman Empire likely during the occupation of Greece in the 15th century. This flaky cheese and spinach filled pastry is similar to the Turkish snack, Ispanakli. Moreover, the Phyllo dough is said to have originated from the Ottoman Yufka pastry. Originally the Yufka pastry was prepared in modern day Turkey and India. The Ottomans then modified the original recipe shaping the dough into thinner layers. These thin layers allow the pastry to become flaky and crisp when baked.

While Spanakopita is typically served as Meze, it is a welcome addition to any meal. This savory Greek pastry is traditionally cut in the shape of a small triangle and is filled with cheeses, sauteed spinach, onions, eggs, and additional seasoning blends. The pastries are brushed with olive oil or butter and then baked until golden brown.

At Nerai, our Spanakopita, is a blend of sauteed spinach, onions, leeks, artichokes, manouri and feta cheeses, and egg to bind the mixture together. This mixture is then scooped into phyllo pastry and brushed with olive oil before reaching the oven where they will bake, until golden brown and flaky. The pies are then served over herbed ouzo yogurt and garnished with chopped chives and Aleppo pepper.

Join us at Nerai to enjoy these savory Greek pastries filled with creamy cheese, sauteed spinach and vegetables in a crispy and flaky crust.