Kale Spanakopitas | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Spanikopitas get a make-over with kale, pine-nuts and a pinch of nutmeg.

Sooo.  It’s been a really long time since I have posted anything with kale.

It’s not that I don’t love kale.  It’s not that we’ve grown apart.

The silent treatment I’ve been giving kale has been more to do with the fact that I just associate kale with winter.  Is that weird?  There’s just something about kale that I associate with comfort food…like soup, or chicken pot pie.

Well, for the first time, I tried growing kale in my garden…and with great success.  The funny thing is that my kale patch has been completely shunned by the wild swarm of swallows that party in my yard.  The squirrels don’t give it a second glance.  The slugs haven’t found it, and neither have any other creepy crawlies.  They don’t know what I do about kale.

Kale is fantabulous.

Kale Spanakopitas | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

What is the big deal about kale?

It is soooo good for you.

Apparently it is packed with calcium, fiber and antioxidants.

Kale Spanakopitas | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Kale Spanakopitas | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

But that’s not the reason I love kale.  I love the interesting, mildly sweet flavor it lends to dishes.

Do you want to know a secret I’ve discovered?  Anything spinach can do, kale can do better.

So, why not give it a try in spanakopitas?

Kale Spanakopitas | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Kale Spanakopitas | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Well, this theory did not lead me astray…these spankies (as we affectionately called them when I worked for a catering company) were delicious!  Of course, when you are basing your recipe off of Ina Garten’s recipe, it is hard to go wrong.

The kale was accompanied by feta (of course), but also a hint of nutmeg and a bit of crunch from toasted pine nuts.  Mmmm….so good.

And I think the fact that I used the awesomely nutritious kale cancels out all the butter and pastry used…what do you think?

Kale Spanakopitas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Kale adds a new dimension to spanikoptias.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • ⅛ cup spring onions (chopped)
  • 10 cups kale (loosely packed. Kale should be washed and shredded into very small peices with stems removed)
  • 4 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan (freshly grated)
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1½ cup feta cheese (crumbled)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts (toasted)
  • 24 sheets phyllo pastry (thawed)
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  • bread crumbs (for sprinkling)
  • sea salt
Instructions
  1. Pre heat oven to 375 F.
  2. Heat half of oil over medium heat in a medium pot. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add spring onions and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Heat the other tbsp of olive oil in the pot. Add kale, and cook, in batches, until completely wilted. You may need to add additional oil to the pot between batches. Adding a few tablespoons of water also helps the kale to wilt. Add the kale to the onions and allow to cool.
  4. Add the eggs, Parmesan, 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs, nutmeg, pepper, feta and pine nuts to the kale and onions. Gently mix.
  5. To assemble the spanikopitas: Place a sheet of phyllo pastry on a clean, working surface. Paint the pastry lightly with melted butter, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs (around one teaspoon). Place a second phyllo sheet on top of the first and repeat. Repeat this process until you have 4 layers of phyllo, with the top brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with breadcrumbs.
  6. Cut the phyllo lengthwise in half to get two long rectangles. In the bottom left-hand corner of one of the rectangles, place ⅓ of a cup of the filling. Fold the bottom left-hand corner of the pastry towards the top right, as if you were folding a flag. Continue folding until you have a triangular-shaped pastry.
  7. Place spanakopitas on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter, and sprinkle with sea salt, if desired (however be aware they are not lacking in salt with all the feta). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until they become golden.
  8. Best served immediately but these also keep well in the fridge for several days and freeze well.
Notes
Make sure you shred your kale into very small pieces to avoid 'stringy' kale.

Recipe adapted from Food Network

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