Though I've talked about her before in this space, perhaps you haven't met my friend Jess. She writes the beautiful blog Witchin' in the Kitchen about food and community, art and creativity--and weaves that all together in a way that feels wholistic and mindful, smart and aware. It's her personal compendium of, as she says,"foodstuffs, paintings, memories, and magic spells."
Back in January, we decided to do a "blog collaboration" and on one Saturday afternoon, she came over to my kitchen to chat and take photos while I made grapefruit and pepper meringue tartlets. As I whipped egg whites and piped meringue, our conversation turned to the familiar topics of feminism, creativity, and domesticity, and where women's food blogs, including our own, fit into that history and trajectory.
Now that this first cross-post blog share is completed, we've tossed around some ideas for what comes next (we've already had a canning party!). But for now, here's the recipe for Jess' mother's Spanakopita, which came to her by way of her cousin's ex-busband, who was Greek and a chef. I attest to Jess' assertion that it makes a great lunch--it was mine on that Sunday afternoon, and for a few days after, though it was hard not to eat all the little triangle pies in one sitting.
Here's my mom's recipe for spanakopita, or as she used to call it when we were kids, "spinach pie". I used only 1 lb. of feta instead of 1.5 lbs, but otherwise the recipe is the same.
Spanakopita (or Spinach Pie)
From Jess of Witchin' in the Kitchen
Package of phyllo dough, thawed completely
3 c. cooked, chopped spinach (or 3 packages frozen, cooked according to the package)
16 oz. cottage cheese
1-1 1/2 lbs. feta
2 sticks (1 c.) salted butter
Small bottle of dill (you will use the whole thing)
2 bunches of scallions
1. Cook spinach either by package directions or as discussed above. Strain, cool, and blot dry.
2. Sauté the chopped scallions (use only the white and light green parts) in olive oil with the entire bottle of dill, or 1/3 of the bottle if you can only find a regular spice jar-sized bottle. Do not brown.
3. Mix the eggs with the drained cottage cheese, the crumbled feta, scallions, and cooled spinach. In the same pan that you used to cook the scallions and dill, melt the butter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
4. Lay out the phyllo sheets, and keep the portion that you are not using covered with a tea towel so the dough doesn't dry out. Cut the sheets lengthwise so they're just smaller than the width of your hand. Using a pastry brush, brush the phyllo sheets with the melted butter. Drop a spoonful of the spinach mixture onto the end of the buttered phyllo dough column, and fold up the dough (lifting up only 2 or 3 sheets at a time) into a triangle.
5. Arrange the spanakopita triangles on a buttered baking sheet. Brush melted butter on top of the pies, and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool completely, then store covered in the refrigerator. To reheat, wrap in foil and heat in the oven at 350 for a half-hour to keep the dough crispy. It's also delicious cold as a snack or for lunch.
Photos by Jess Schreibstein of Witchin' in the Kitchen and yours truly