Flipping through my mom’s copy of The New Moosewood Cookbook several years ago I was instantly drawn to the spanakopita recipe. It was the copious amounts of feta cheese that drew me in. I made the dish with some of my parents’ garden-fresh spinach and was amazed at how the dish just “ate” the spinach. It seemed like I had started with a massive bowl of spinach and then it was reduced before my eyes to an amount almost too small for the recipe! The spanakopita was super-tasty and I always like making it whenever I’m able. Sadly there are usually two things that prevent me—one, I rarely have phyllo dough on hand, and two, I rarely have copious amounts of spinach!
When I posted in my meal plan that I was going to make spanakopita, our friend Amaryah suggested that I try Chard Utopia which is basically the same thing but made with… Swiss Chard instead of spinach (the recipe is Amaryah’s contribution to the wonderful cookbook Simply in Season!). I changed my plans which was good because I didn’t have enough spinach anyways. However, the day to make the dish came and I didn’t have enough chard either! So I took some liberties with the recipe and the title and came up with Spring Greenakopia!
Spring Greenakopia – Chard Utopia (Spanakopita) with Mixed Spring Greens
- 2 cups onion, minced
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1 tsp. oregano
- Dash of salt
- 1 Tbs. oil
- Lots of spring greens (2+ pounds swiss chard, dandelion greens, mustard greens, spinach, kale, arugula, etc), finely chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs. flour
- 2 cups feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup cottage cheese (you can substitute ricotta)
- Ground pepper
- 1 package phyllo dough (puff pastry), thawed
- Oil for brushing the phyllo
Heat oil in a very large frying pan or pot and fry the onion with the herbs for 5 minutes. Add the chopped greens and cook until wilted, stirring, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and flour, cook for 2-3 minutes, remove from heat and add the cheeses and ground pepper.
Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly oil a 9×13-inch pan and place a piece of phyllo dough in the pan. If your phyllo is large you can cut it in half to fit the pan. Lightly oil the top of the dough and layer 7 more sheets on top of the first, brushing each lightly with oil.
Spoon half of the greens filling into the pan, spreading it out evenly. Cover with another 8 layers of phyllo, brushing each lightly with oil. Add the second half of the filling and top once more with 5-8 more sheets of phyllo. Tuck any loose edges into the pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until it turns golden and crispy on top.