For those people familiar with the popular Greek dish “spanakopita,” this variation provides a lot of the same flavor without the complicated process of the traditional recipe. This is a creation of Ralph, and so he is in front of the camera this time explaining how it all comes together. I think because he is an artist, Ralph has a way of deconstructing dishes and reimagining them in very creative ways! This recipe is no exception, and it really does deliver on great flavor.
Here, torn pieces of pita bread are used to make the “crust” for the casserole. You will note that he uses the edges of the pita bread to form the edges around the baking pan. A CoF viewer made this recipe and shared that he used a lavash to make the crust – another wonderful alternative!
The filling has all the good stuff that we look for in a spinach pie, including dried mint, which really adds a wonderful flavor component to the dish. It all mixes together in one bowl and bakes in less than an hour. This casserole makes a great vegetarian option and is also a hit at potlucks!
Mock Spinach Pie Casserole
3-6 pita breads (depending on size, can be white or whole wheat)
1 TBSP milk
1 cup finely chopped onion
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 TBSP salt
¼ cup flour
½ cup dried spearmint
2 TBSP butter, melted
12-16oz bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained of excess water
1 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
1 cup cottage cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with butter or non-stick spray. Tear pita bread into pieces that are 3-4 inches long. Use the edge of the pitas to line the edge of the baking dish (see video). You want to completely cover the bottom and sides of the baking dish with the pita. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and milk until eggs are a little foamy. To this mixture, add the onion, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, flour, mint and melted butter. Mix to combine.
Add spinach, feta and cottage cheese. Carefully blend (fold) together all the ingredients until well combined and the cheese are distributed throughout. Pour mixture over pita bread in baking dish and spread so it is even over the top. Bake in oven for 45 minutes.
Remove baking dish from oven and let cool a few minutes before cutting. Can be served as a main course, or also is a great side with beef or lamb. Enjoy!