Remember dinner parties? I feel like they were a thing we did one time? Even pre-pandemic, I don’t think the dinner parties I remember my parents hosting in the late 90s had any equivalent in my life. But I do remember there being lots of cute little snacks on various surfaces.
Last week, with the wealth of delicious spinach we received, spanikopita (aka Greens and Feta Phyllo Pie) was an obvious option. This week, I wanted more of that, thank you very much, but I also wanted the feel of a little dinner party – a little snacky thing that I could put thin shavings of turnip on top of and eat in one bite. So I did both.
There are three procedures in this recipe, and you can pick and choose which you want to do, really.
The first procedure is the sourdough crackers, which I made following this recipe. Once you’ve made the dough, it asks you to split the dough in half, wrap it, and put it in the fridge for half an hour or so. Before I did so, I added two diced scapes to one half, and three short branches of last week’s rosemary, also diced, into the other half. (Pro tip; if you have a pasta roller, this dough is cohesive enough to roll through there. This makes for a nice even thickness.)
The second procedure is the greens! To make both a full greens and feta phyllo pie, as well as the spanikopita dip, I used the full bag of spinach, the full bag of kale, and almost half the mustard greens. I did a bit of prep work to take some of the stems off the kale but honestly, they are pretty tender and would probably be just fine in there. I seasoned with a bit of green onion, nutmeg, dill, and lemon, as I quickly wilted them in a pan with a bit of oil. Then you can set them aside to cool.
The third procedure is the phyllo. This is described in Emily’s recipe above, so I won’t go into too much detail below.
At the point of construction, I split off about a third of the greens and added yogurt and feta to make the dip. A lot of spanikopita dip recipes out there are all about cream cheese and ricotta and maybe even mayonnaise but it’s hot and that stuff is expensive and I am not about that life. The yogurt and feta was enough to make it a bit saucy, and I think next time I would blend the greens before I add them to make it extra smooth.
Then I just shaved the turnips and put them on top for a cute little bite-size snack that is quite refreshing on a hot day!
For the phyllo pie, I mixed two thirds of the greens in with a chunk of feta and two eggs, and then wrapped that up in the phyllo I’d prepared and threw it in the oven.
In the end, we have about 3 cups of crackers, 1 cup of dip, and four servings of phyllo pie that freezes well and travels well in lunches! And there’s still plenty left in our share for future meals this week! Doesn’t get much better than that.
Spanikopita Dip and Garlic Scape/Rosemary Sourdough Crackers
For wilting the greens
- 2.5 bags cooking greens (kale, spinach, mustard greens, could have used the turnip tops too!)
- 1-3 Tbsp fresh herbs (dill, green onion, etc., to taste!)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil for cooking
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice to taste
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
To add to the greens for the dip
- 1/3rd wilted greens cooled
- 1/4 cup feta or more, to taste
- 1/4 cup yogurt (i just used normal astro yogs, but i bet actual greek yogurt would be amazing)
- 5-8 little turnips thinly sliced
To add to the greens for the spanikopita
- 2/3rds wilted greens cooled
- 1/2 cup feta or more, to taste
- 2 medium eggs
- 1/2 roll phyllo pastry, thawed (i used the first half last week, and still had enough to have about 10 layers)
- 1/2 cup olive oil for between the layers of phyllo
For the sourdough crackers
- 1 cup "spent" sourdough starter (this is sourdough starter that has been fed about 24 hours previous, and has already expanded and contracted again – great way to cast off some of your starter as it grows)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 4 Tbsp butter (i used salted, and omitted the salt suggested for this recipe – if you use unsalted, add 1/2 tsp salt)
- 1/2 cup oil for brushing the tops of the crackers before they go in the oven
- 2 scapes diced very fine
- 1 Tbsp rosemary, diced very fine
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt (optional, for the top)
Dice up two garlic scapes and about a tablespoon of rosemary as fine as you can
Mix together the flour, salt, sourdough starter, butter, and herbs to make a smooth (not sticky), cohesive dough.
Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a small rectangular slab. If you want different flavours, add different herbs to each half, otherwise mix in herbs in previous step. Cover with beeswax wrap or put in a tupperware, and refrigerate for 30 minutes until the dough is firm.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, very lightly flour a piece of parchment, your rolling pin, and the top of the dough.
Place the dough onto the floured parchment and roll it about 1/16" thick. It'll have ragged, uneven edges; that's OK. Just try to make it as even as possible.
OR, if you have a pasta roller, cut the dough into smaller sections, pat into some flour, and roll through the largest setting on your pasta roller.
Transfer the dough and parchment together onto a baking sheet. Lightly brush with oil and then sprinkle the salt over the top of the crackers.
Cut into squares or whatever works for you – a pizza cutter is great for this
Prick each cracker with a fork at least once to prevent puffing
Bake the crackers for 20 to 25 minutes, until they're starting to brown around the edges. Midway through, rotate the baking sheets both top to bottom and front to back; this will help the crackers brown evenly.
Store crackers, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to a week; freeze for longer storage.
Friendly reminder that most of the above is verbatim from https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/sourdough-crackers-recipe
Wilt the greens
I preheated the oil in the pan with some nutmeg and green onion, and did a very quick rough chop of all the greens before tossing them in. You might need to cook in sections because they start so much larger than they finish.
Right at the end, I added some fresh chopped dill and lemon juice
Prepare the phyllo
This is good to do while the crackers are baking and the greens are cooling! Follow instructions linked above or on the box of phyllo pastry. You can use melted butter or oil between the layers.
Prepare the spanikopita filling
I took about 2/3rds of the wilted greens once they were cooled, added the eggs and the feta, and gave everything a big stir. Emily's recipe (linked above) is much more diligent about the application of feta, so go that route if you prefer. The purple kale makes things a bit pink sometimes which is cute!
Toss the filling into the phyllo layers you've prepared – I put them all in the middle of the rectangle and then fold the edges up like a burrito
Bake at 350 for 25-30 mins or until crispy!
Prepare the spanikopita dip
Take the remaining 1/3rd of wilted greens, add the yogurt and feta, and stir it up!
Let me know if you try this, but next time I might take the greens and blend them quickly in a food processor or with a submersion blender before I add the yogurt and feta.
Slice up some delicious turnips!
and eat up! You can do this while you wait for the spanikopita to bake, or store in the fridge for fancy evening snacks!