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Spanakopita Bites with Cucumber-Mint Yogurt

2008 September 15
by taiyyaba

There’s just something about the combination of savory spinach, crispy phyllo dough, and tangy-cool mint yogurt sauce that works beautifully together. I’d suggest adding a pinch of sumac to the spinach mixture if you have some; it gives it a tangy-spicy kick and a nice color.

Working with phyllo can be a little difficult, but it’s worth it. Follow the directions on the box for more precision than I’m giving here (in terms of how to defrost the phyllo and keep it from drying out).

These are great for parties because you can make just the filling or even the little patties themselves beforehand – just lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze, then bring back to room temperature before baking. The spinach filling is also a good stuffing for chicken thighs (maybe with some walnuts) or pasta shells or folded into an omelet!

Recipe here:


1 small package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained (about 2 or 3 cups worth)
1 package feta cheese (8 oz, i think, but add as much as you like)
3 sundried tomatoes, chopped finely or whirled to a fine dice in a food processor
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 onion, diced
salt, pepper
phyllo dough, thawed and ready to use
Melted butter (garlic-herb butter, even)

1. Saute the onion and garlic until fragrant and softened. Sprinkle in some hot red pepper flakes, if desired. Add the sundried tomatoes.
2. Making sure the spinach is fully drained, add it to the pan and mix it with the onion-garlic mixture. Salt/pepper it. Cook for a few minutes to let the flavors meld.
3. Take the mixture off the heat and let it cool a little bit. Add the feta, mix to incorporate.
4. Brushing each layer with melted butter, lay down 4 – 6 sheets of phyllo dough on a clean surface. (You can also spray with cooking spray in between layers, instead of using butter. I used garlic herb butter, cuz I had some.)
5. Cut the sheet into squares and lay down about a teaspoon of filling. Fold them into triangles, and using water to moisten the edges, press the dough together to seal well.
6. Brush butter on the top. Bake at 350F for about 30 – 40 minutes or until golden brown. These take some time, but try not to be tempted to raise the temperature – the edges will burn before the middle is done.

Serve with Cucumber-Mint Yogurt

2 cups plain yogurt
2 tbs. milk
1/2 to 1 tsp dried mint (to taste)
1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced finely
Salt, pepper.

Whip or stir the yogurt a little until it’s smooth. Add the milk to thin it a little to make it more dip-able. Add in the mint and cucumber, salt/pepper it. Garnish with fresh mint and serve with the spanakopita.

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