The combined events of the week: craft night at Devana’s tonight and Bella’s birthday this weekend, shone favorably on the making of spanakopita, which I rarely make these days, due to the idiosyncrasies of phyllo dough.
But here I am. I just broke one my cardinal rules by cooking while Christian is napping, but I refuse to go to crafting night without fresh-baked spinach pastries and Bella just texted me asking if we could swing by the mall on the way home from school today, closing my small afternoon window for cooking before leaving for the evening.
I started out years ago by making Molly Katzen’s version of spanakopita in one of her Moosewood cookbooks, but then I met an older Greek woman at Trader Joe’s. We were both standing in the front of the cheese and I was holding a block of feta in my hand. She looked at me, and said, “What are you going to do with that?”
When I replied, “I’m making spanakopita tonight” her eyebrows just about jumped past her hairline.
“What?! YOU make spanokopita? That is great. Tell me, how do you make this spanokopita?”
I started, now very much on the spot, with, “Um, I saute some onions…”
“What? You don’t need onions in spanakopita!”
and that was the beginning of an entertaining lesson in what goes in spanakopita: Basically ONLY fresh chopped spinach, crumbled feta cheese, and ricotta no other herbs or spices, no egg, no nothing.
And that’s how I make my spanokopita to this day – with just those three ingredients.