How do I make spanakopita that doesn't suck?

I always kind of thought I just didn’t like spanakopita much, because when I’ve had it before it kind of sucked. Watery, or eggy, or just too spinachy, or whatever. But this past weekend we were somewhere I was assured the Greek food was excellent and I took a risk and ordered some (the Landmark in Charlotte, FYI) and it was AWESOME! Not too eggy! Just enough feta! The spinach tasted good and not overwhelming! The whole thing was just lovely and flavorful.

So this shouldn’t be hard to make, right? Except I know if I just pick a recipe I’ll end up with the stuff I don’t like! Added difficulty: I know it does often have eggs in it as a binder but if it’s too eggy, or even perceptibly eggy, my husband will not eat it and this will be a waste of time. Also, I’ve seen some versions as cute little triangular phyllo wraps - I don’t think I can do that, as my husband avoids gluten - he can have a little, so I think he’d be fine with the amount of phyllo that was in what I had this weekend, but more than that will mess with his skin and make him feel bad. So not too much, not too little.

Suggestions? (I am assuming that really wringing out the spinach is key.)

My MIL’s family is from Greece, and my wife just shouted the following instructions on her way out the door:

  1. Use breadcrumbs on the bottom.

  2. Use high quality feta cheese.

  3. Heat the oven from below.

  4. Make sure you drain you spinach before using it. Fresh spinach is better than frozen.

I’ll get more instructions when she gets back.

To reduce sogginess they used to throw a handful of rice in the mix to soak up the water.

But I think the main thing that makes a great spanakopita is to use a mixture of greens, of which spinach is just one. Maybe 50% spinach, 50% all the rest.
Here are some of the greens used traditionally:

  • Beets (Beta Vulgaris), not the same as beetroots.
  • Nettles
  • Sorrel
  • Mediterranean hartwort (Tordylium apulum)
  • Spring onions.

Another thing is that once you cut and salt the greens, you need to leave them in a bowl for about 15’ to let the juices out, followed by a good squeeze.

Of course use good quality olive oil.

Let us know how it goes if you get round to making it!

No advice.

I just wanted to say I can’t help calling them spankin’ a pita.

Use this recipe. I usually cut it in half–its a lot. Not eggy tasting at all. I don’t really like spinach much, but I love these. I even sub regular onion for the green onions called for, because I don’t like buying stuff and throwing it away, but I always have white onions.

Would that be similar to or the same as chard, which is basically beets grown for their greens and also beta vulgaris?

Yes, I think it’s exactly that.

What is now called “spanakopita” (= spinach pie) used to be called “hortopita” (= greens pie) made with a variety of yummy, aromatic herbs and greens such as the ones listed above, most of which grew wild. But then people’s lives became more urban, and use of pesticides made it unsafe to just wander in a field and pick the greens so it has devolved into boring “spanakopita” most of the time.