Saturday, June 18, 2011

Greek Pizza

This recipe and I go way back (I consider it a classic in my culinary repertoire). I discovered my love of cooking soon after moving out of my college dorm and into my first apartment in NYC. It was so much fun cooking for my friends/roommates and experimenting with new cuisines and ingredients (when I could afford to buy them).

I'm pretty sure this recipe was my first attempt at using filo dough. I remember how pleasantly surprised I was at how easy it turned out to be (and how thrilled I was when I tasted the results). This pizza was so popular, I always made at least two at a time, no matter how many friends were (or weren't) over...and believe me, it never went to waste. The leftovers (if you have any) are outstanding cold for breakfast.

(Yield: 4 to 6 servings)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
6 large cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 lb. fresh spinach (cleaned, stemmed & chopped)
   or 1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped spinach (thawed and water squeezed out)
1/2 lb. filo dough, defrosted
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. grated mozzarella cheese
2 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs (optional)

1.     Preheat oven to 400° F.  Butter a large baking sheet.
2.     In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions, garlic and salt; cook until the onions are clear and soft. Add basil, oregano, lemon juice and spinach, and cook over fairly high heat, stirring, until the spinach is limp and the liquid is evaporated.
3.     Combine the melted butter and olive oil. Layer the sheets of filo dough on the buttered baking sheet, brushing the entire surface of each sheet with a generous amount of butter/olive oil mixture.  Continue layering the pastry leaves until you’ve used them all.  Brush the top surface of the stack with the remaining butter/olive oil mixture.
4.      Use a slotted spoon, transfer the spinach mixture from the skillet to the filo stack, leaving behind whatever liquid failed to evaporate.  Spread the spinach mixture evenly over the filo, leaving a 1/2-inch border of pastry.
5.     Sprinkle on all the crumbled feta, plus half of the mozzarella.
6.     Dredge the tomato slices in bread crumbs (optional). Arrange the tomato slices on top of the pizza, and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella over the tomatoes.  Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes (start checking at 20 minutes).

adapted from “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest” by Mollie Katzen
juicy tomatoes
onions and garlic
(sometimes I wonder if I should bother with these captions)
I used frozen spinach to save some time.
paper thin filo dough
brushing the filo with butter/oil
all the filo sheets layered
spinach mixture spread on top of filo
crumbled feta (buy the good stuff)
feta and half the mozzarella sprinkled on top
tomato slice dredged in bread crumbs (you can skip this
step if you want, but I like the flavor of the bread crumbs).
tomatoes layered with remaining mozzarella sprinkled on top
just look at all those golden, crunchy layers
dinner is served (I used a pizza cutter to slice)
This stuff leaves such a great aftertaste in
your'll never want it to fade away.



Judie Cleland said...

Yes, you need the captions. That makes your pictures even better and more tempting.
Can't wait to make this pizza. Sounds delicious and looks so yummy.
I want a cookbook!

Susan said...

I was just joking because I found myself typing simply "lemon" and it seemed kind of ridiculous!

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