Monday, May 5, 2008

Greek dinner

This is a meal from more than a week ago, which I failed to write up.

My dance partner, following suggestions from a Greek friend of hers, puts mint in her spanakopita; I use fresh oregano with the spinach, and sometimes parsley. This time, I more-or-less followed this recipe, taking liberties.

Preheat the oven 400°F or so. Defrost frozen phyllo dough in the fridge overnight. Wash, chop, and cook down a large bunch of spinach and drain, and combine in a large bowl with feta, oregano, parsley, a hint of pepper, and salt only if the feta is not salty enough. A little olive oil, and some corn starch to thicken the filling is probably in order. Coat a lasagna pan with olive oil. Fold filling into phyllo triangles, and place in pan, coating both sides with oil. Bake until top is correctly golden and crispy, about 20 minutes for folded triangles.

For a very tasty Greek side to serve with the spanakopita, cook a medium pot of brown rice (1.5 to one water, simmer covered 20 minutes, then turn off heat but leave covered to steam 20 minutes), and combine over heat with a drained and heated can black-eyed peas, fresh oregano, lots of good olive oil, plenty of lemon juice, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley. Essentially this is rice-and-beans, mixed with a Greek salad dressing, served hot.

For a Greek salad, what's most important is a salty lemon-juice dressing. Next most important is having large pieces of feta in the salad, and fresh oregano and good olives are always a plus — I picked up a small tin of kalamata and green-stuffed-with-lemon-peel olives. For summer Greek salads, tomato, cucumber, and onions are standard; winter Greek salads sometimes have cabbage. We've been having incredible lettuces from Riverdog, so our Greek salad was a lettuce salad with olives, feta, oregano, and dressing.

My boyfriend and my roommate each said the meal was the best they'd had in quite some time.

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