27 September 2013

Spinach and Roasted Pepper Phyllo Pie

I have always been a bring-your-lunch to work kind of person. It's cheaper, sure, but I find that overall I like it because it's healthier and the portions are more my size, and everything's usually fresher. Not that there are so many (okay any) lunch options in Algiers, unless meat between bread counts.


This quick phyllo pie is the sort of thing I make often for lunches. Sometimes it's a tart, or a frittata, something that keeps well and slices easily and is a bit more substantial to my other rotating lunch item, salad. Honestly, I usually make these things slapdash with whatever I have on hand, but this time I've bothered to take some measurements.

As I've discussed many times before (see: baklava), phyllo is not nearly as hard to work with as you think. I don't bother to brush every single layer with butter, but the crust here is really just a lovely vehicle for the salty sweet filling with peppers and olives. You can make this with or without cheese - since I'm lactose intolerant I skip the cheese most time and find that it's just as good. Happy lunching!


Spinach and Roasted Pepper Phyllo Pie

1 package phyllo
4 tablespoons butter, melted
3 eggs
4 ounces plain yogurt
1 large bunch spinach, stems trimmed and chopped
4 roasted red peppers, diced
1/2 cup black/purple olives, pitted and chopped
1 sprig of mint, leaves removed and sliced
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional
salt, red pepper flakes

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan. Add the spinach and let cook over medium-low heat until very dark and cooked through. Scrape the spinach into a large bowl.
2. Place the diced roasted red peppers, olives, and mint into the bowl. Break in the 3 eggs and add in the yogurt and stir well with a fork to combine. Sprinkle in the feta, if using, and season very well with salt and red pepper flakes.
3. Brush the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with butter. Keep your phyllo dough covered with some plastic wrap and a damp towel while you're working. Cut your phyllo into 10-12 inch squares (ie, slightly larger than your baking pan). Place about 3-5 sheets of phyllo into the pan, fitting them up the sides. Brush the phyllo well with butter. Repeat this two more times for the bottom phyllo layer. Scoop in the filling. Trim the phyllo to 8-inch square, and repeat with three layers of 3-4 sheets each, brushing each well with butter.
4. Bake the pie in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until nicely browned.

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