This savory Spinach and Cheese Pie is reminiscent of the 1980s, when “natural foods” restaurants reigned and almost everyone we knew pored over Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook for meal ideas. Nostalgia aside, the recipe makes a rich and hearty vegetarian meal for “Meatless Mondays” or any time at all. Frugal and economical, it contains ingredients we usually have on hand—frozen spinach, cottage cheese and Romano cheese—combined with tangy feta cheese. It’s topped with handfuls of scrunched-up phyllo dough, which add a crunchy glamour and give the dish its show-stopping appearance.
Whether you’re eating less meat and more veggies for the earth’s health or your own, this savory pie fits the bill.
Spinach and Cheese Pie
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups chopped green onions
1 pound frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 cups whole-milk, small-curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup finely grated Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
8 sheets phyllo dough
2 tablespoons melted butter
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Heat olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add spinach and cook 1 minute. Remove pan from heat.
3. Stir lemon rind, parsley and feta cheese into spinach mixture. Combine cottage cheese, Romano cheese and egg in a small bowl. Stir until well blended. Add to spinach mixture. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg; stir well.
4. Scrape filling into a 9-inch pie plate or 8-inch square baking dish. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
5. Brush one sheet of phyllo with melted butter, keeping remaining sheets covered with a cloth. Crumple phyllo sheet into a nest shape and place on top of phyllo. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets to cover filling.
6. Bake about 10 minutes, until phyllo topping is browned. Serves 6.
Per serving: 370 calories, 22g fat, 110mg chol., 17g prot., 22g carbs., 2g fiber, 1170mg sodium.
Recipe by Nancy Krcek Allen
Photo by Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn