Easy Spanakopita Appetizers

easy spanakopita appetizers
easy spanakopita appetizers

Today’s post is not about my usual tempting desserts, but it is still decadent. The dish is a savory appetizer, but one so creamy and tasty that you’ll find it disappears quickly. It is perfect for a holiday platter, especially for New Year’s Eve festivities.

This recipe was shared by a friend at a cooking get together. I made minor alterations for my taste preferences, but essentially it’s the recipe provided to the class. It was already vegan, and can be made at any altitude. And, with pre-baked vegan fillo shells, you can make these in no time.

Easy Spanakopita Appetizers

2 TBS olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 TBS minced garlic
1 pound frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
8.1 oz Violife Just Like Feta
8 oz Kite Hill Ricotta Alternative
2 TBS finely minced dill leaves (no stems)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt, or to taste
2 (1.6 oz) packages The Fillo Factory Mini Fillo Shells

Preheat oven to 350F. Add 1 TBS olive oil to a pan on medium heat. Add the onion and cook until almost translucent. Add the garlic and cook until just starting to brown. Transfer the onion-garlic mixture to a bowl. Wipe out the warm pan and add the additional 1 TBS olive oil. Add the spinach and cook until warmed through. Stir the onion-garlic mixture into the warm spinach in the pan. Crumble the feta into the pan and stir in the ricotta and dill. Cook just until the cheese softens. Add the lemon juice and salt and stir to combine.

Transfer the filling to a food processor and process until just blended. Taste and adjust for dill, lemon juice, and salt. Transfer the filling to a piping bag. Arrange the fillo shells on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pipe the filling into the shells. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the shells are just browned on the edges. Eat while still hot.

Until next time, Happy New Year, and happy baking!

Chocolate Phyllo Crispies

chocolate phyllo crispiesWhen I first spotted vegan phyllo dough at the market I was very excited. The odd thing is that I’ve never made anything with phyllo or had a desire to use it. My mom made baklava when I was a kid and it seemed way too labor intensive. But, I do love a good vegan baking challenge so I bought a package. After scouring recipes using phyllo, I chose one that sounded relatively simple and looked like a nice snack.

For this recipe I didn’t need to veganize or high altitude it. I figured the experimenting would be the phyllo dough itself as the difficulty would be the correct and quick handling of the dough. The most important thing I learned was to have a partner handy to brush the sheets with oil while you assemble the dish. The dough is finicky and dries out quickly, but having help made it go more smoothly. It also made preparation more fun.

The treat is messy to eat because the phyllo wants to crumble when you take a bite. The best part of this experiment was watching my husband take an entire piece and shove it in his mouth in order to be neater. I wish the illustrating photo could have been of that moment but I was too busy laughing.

Chocolate Phyllo Crispies adapted from Native Foods Celebration Cookbook
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces dark chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups almonds, roasted and ground
zest of 1/2 an orange
1/4 cup canola oil
12 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted per package directions
Preheat oven to 350F. Chop chocolate into 1/2” pieces and mix in blender with sugar. Combine chocolate mixture in a bowl with almonds and orange zest. Brush bottom of a 9×13” pan with oil. Cut phyllo sheets to fit the pan.
Place a sheet of phyllo brushed with oil in the pan. Sprinkle chocolate-almond mixture lightly over top. Alternate phyllo sheet (with brushed oil), then chocolate, until all phyllo and mixture are used. Cut into squares or triangles with a sharp knife. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Until next time, happy baking!