It all started out with my love for the Greek dish Spanikopita – a delightful appetizer made of spinach, feta, lots of garlic, and buttery filo dough… However, this scrumptious delicacy is just too scrumptiously rich to make every other week (which is how often I crave it); not to mention rather time consuming.
It was then further influenced by my appreciation for the ease and simplicity of homemade quiche – a one-dish meal not unlike pizza or sandwiches in its brilliant ability to act as a backdrop for all kinds of culinary imagination.
Here it is – my Spanikopita Quiche. French and Greek, two proudly-separate cultures irreverently combined, like the makings of any truly good American dish.
One 9-inch homemade pie crust, unbaked
1 3/4 c. whole milk or soymilk
2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 oz feta cheese (you may prefer the whole 8 oz – I am not big on cheese)
16 oz frozen chopped spinach
3-4 cloves fresh garlic
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Adjust oven rack to lowest rung.
2. To make filling, whisk together the milk, eggs, yolks, salt and fresh pepper until well-blended.
3. Defrost spinach; in a large shallow pan, crush and sauté the garlic in a little olive oil until its very light brown. Stir in the defrosted spinach (drained of excess water if necessary). Mix well in the pan over med heat.
4. Crumble a third of the feta cheese evenly over the bottom of the pie crust. Top with a third of the spinach and garlic. Sprinkle oregano lightly over the spinach. Add a third of the egg mixture. Repeat this layering procedure with the remaining ingredients.
5. Bake on bottom rack for 50-60 mins, until the center of pie is no longer jiggly. ( if you are still in doubt, the quiche is done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean or an instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees.)
6. Cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!