Even though it takes a little bit of work, the end result is totally worth it. It’s so good! This recipe calls for two pounds (907 g) of fresh baby spinach, which looks like a lot but wilts down significantly. It also calls for all of the alliums—onions, garlic, scallions, shallots, leeks and chives—because they each add their own flavor, lots of dill, mint and parsley for herby freshness, artichoke hearts for tang and almond feta for texture.
Reprinted with permission from Wait, That's Vegan by Lisa Dawn Angerame, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Alex Shytsman
Deep-Dish Spinach Phyllo Pie [Vegan]
- 2 pounds fresh baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus more for the phyllo
- 1 onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 leek, cleaned and sliced into half-moons
- 6 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 ounce chives, thinly sliced
- A few big pinches of salt
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped dill
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 1 (14-oz [397-g]) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 recipe almond feta
- 1 (16-oz [454-g]) box vegan phyllo, thawed
- To prepare the spinach, heat a big pot over medium-low heat. Add the spinach, as big a bunch as you can at one time. Cover it and let it steam down for a minute or so. Then, go in with tongs and toss it around to help it wilt. Add the rest of the spinach and toss until it is completely wilted. Turn the heat off.
- Set a strainer over a big bowl. Use tongs to lift the spinach out of the pot, squeezing as you go, leaving any excess water in the pot. Add the spinach to the strainer, pressing it against the sides to release the spinach liquid. Leave the spinach in the strainer and let any excess water drain out while you prepare the rest of the filling.
- Clean out the pot and put it back on the stove over medium-low heat. Add the oil and when it is shimmering, add the onion, garlic, leek, scallions, shallots and chives. Season with salt and cook slowly, over medium-low heat, until they are fragrant and translucent, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the dill, mint, parsley, artichoke hearts and lemon juice. Mix together very well.
- Drop the spinach onto a cutting board, and run your knife through for a rough chop. Add the spinach a little at a time, and mix it into the alliums and herbs, until everything is completely combined. Crumble the feta over the mixture, and mix gently to incorporate it into the spinach mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the bottom and sides of your pie dish with oil. Pour more oil in a little bowl. Roll out the phyllo dough. Use a pizza cutter to cut it in half, to approximate the size of the pie dish. Cover it with a kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out as you work.
- Lay a piece of phyllo over the pie dish. Press it down into the bottom of the pie dish and let the ends hang over the sides. Brush with oil. Lay another sheet into the pie dish in the other direction so now the phyllo covers the entire dish. Brush again with oil. Repeat 7 more times, for a total of 9 layers, pressing the phyllo down and to the sides as you brush with oil. Whatever phyllo is sticking out will end up as part of the top layer of the crust.
- Transfer the spinach mixture into the phyllo, spread it out and press it down. Take a piece of phyllo and lay it on top of the spinach mixture. Gently press it down and brush with oil. Take another piece and layer it across the spinach, in the other direction, so the spinach is covered. Brush again with oil. Repeat 7 more times, for a total of 9 layers. Fold the excess phyllo down over the center and brush with oil, to seal the deal. The phyllo on the edges may be a little dry but that’s okay, it will still look pretty and taste great.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is brown and crispy. Transfer the pie dish to a cooling rack and let stand for at least 20 minutes. Use a serrated knife to cut into the pie, being sure to go all the way through the bottom crust and cut 8 big slices. Use a small spatula to help you lift the pie slices out of the pie dish.
- This pie is even better the next day because the spinach has time to settle. Make it, cover it in foil, store it in the refrigerator and then reheat it in a 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until heated through.
You can find vegan phyllo in the freezer section of your local grocery store. If yours is a different size, don’t worry, just use enough to fill out your pie dish. Whatever you don’t use, you can refreeze.