Aack! Monday! (I am a Kathy comic, in case you were wondering.)
Monday, you're a bummer. What should be a fresh start is always an uphill climb for me. Weekends with a toddler are exhausting and getting back on schedule is tough after two days of loosening the reigns. Enter, spanakopita: An easy, healthy, and totally customizable way to keep your food making and eating on track.
Spanakopita is a traditional Greek dish that usually employs spinach and a lot of spices (dill, oregano, etc). However, while I love spinach, M does not. And dill is my MORTAL ENEMY. So, this is my version, which uses kale, turkey, feta, oregano, and Aleppo pepper and wraps everything up in a freeform galette.
The beauty of this dish is in its adaptability. Skip the meat for a veggie version or use ground lamb, ground beef, or shredded rotisserie chicken. If you can't find frozen kale, any frozen greens will do. But, definitely use frozen veggies that you thaw and squeeze dry instead of anything fresh.
Don't be intimidated by filo dough. While it can dry out and crack relatively fast, we're talking about a few minutes, not a few seconds. Some people recommend covering the dough with a lightly damp towel while others recommend brushing butter or olive oil on each layer. I say, if you organize your ingredients and work fast, you don't need to do any of those things. At least, not for this recipe.
*One quick note: I completely forgot to add the eggs when I made this dish for the photos! See also: "Aack! Monday!" So, yours will be considerably less crumbly than these photos imply. However, if you happen to forget the eggs in yours, it will still be delicious.
Turkey and kale spanakopita
1 lb frozen kale (or spinach or collard greens or mixed greens, whatever you like), thawed and squeezed
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 lb ground turkey
2 cloves garlic
¼ tsp aleppo pepper or ¼ tsp smoked paprika + 1/8 tsp cayenne
½ tsp oregano
6 oz crumbled feta (or about 1½ cup)
6-8 sheets of filo dough
Preheat oven to 350.
If the kale is straight from the freezer, empty the bag into a large bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes, just until the ice has melted. Squeeze well with a cloth or paper towel to get out as much moisture as possible. Set aside.
Saute the turkey just until no pink remains, breaking into tiny pieces with the back of a spoon while cooking. Add the garlic, Aleppo pepper, oregano, and salt and cook for one more minute, or until fragrant. Add to the bowl with the squeezed kale.
Add feta to the large bowl and mix well. Taste for seasoning before adding the eggs and adjust accordingly. Add all three eggs and mix well.
Prep your workspace before opening your filo package. Cut a piece of parchment and place on a baking sheet. Have your bowl of fillings and a small bowl and brush or spray can of olive oil ready.
Next, unwrap and unroll the package of filo and, working quickly, lay out one sheet of the dough. Then, take the next sheet and rotate it slightly so that the points of the sheet underneath stick out. Repeat, rotating the third sheet of filo in the other direction. Repeat the first three steps again exactly until you have six sheets of filo in a rough star shape. (See photos to better illustrate what I mean.)
Dump the filling mixture into the middle of the six filo sheets and spray or brush the filling and the filo with olive oil. Then, wrap the sides of the filo over the filling. If there is a very large gap in the center revealing a lot of the filling, crinkle up one or two more sheets of filo and stick them on the top. Spray or brush the whole packet with olive oil.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Yield: 4-6 servings