Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Its all Greek to me!

Tonight's dinner was inspired by the What's for dinner section of the May 2007 issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine. A lot of what I have learned from cooking I learned from watching Martha Stewart's first television show. I can't think of a time I have ever had a Martha Stewart recipe be anything but delicious. The menu card from the May issue was a Greek Menu. The results were fantastic. The Spanakopita has a great presentation and the filling ingredients taste so fresh. Its not too difficult either. I really liked the dressing for the Greek Salad its a good simple red wine vinaigrette with just the right balance of flavors so not to overpower the salad. The dessert was really refreshing, pretty healthy and the combination of flavors worked nicely. It was a perfect meal for a summer evening and one I definitely would make again. It will be a great meal to entertain with. I used phyllo dough for the first time in making this meal and have to say its not as difficult to work with as I thought. The 4th recipe card called for making a chickpea, mint and parsley spread to serve with pita. Instead, I purchased Athenos Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.

Quick Spanakopita
Serves 4

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb baby spinach
1 large egg
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped (I omitted)
6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
10 sheets phyllo dough (each 17 x12), thawed if frozen
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add spinach, and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl. (Note the directions from the recipe card did not mention draining the water off but I did-I had to drain mine 2-3 times to get the excess out). Let cool slightly. Stir in egg, herbs, feta, salt and pepper.

2. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo on parchment-lined baking sheet (cover remaining phyllo with a damp towel) and brush with butter. Repeat twice. Spread spinach mixture in center. Top with 3 more buttered sheets. Fold in sides. Butter remaining 4 sheets; crumple over top. Bake until dark golden, about 40 minutes.

Greek Style Salad
For the Dressing:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

For the Salad
12 ounces romaine hearts, leaves separated
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, drained
1/2 cup peperoncini, drained (I omitted)
1/3 cup caper berries, drained (I omitted)
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1-inch wedges
1 Kirby cucumbers, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 inche pieces
1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise and crosswise (I omitted-forgot it at the store!)
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1. Make the dressing: Whisk together vinegar, salt, and oregano and season with pepper. Add oil in a slow steady stream, whisking until emulsified.

2. Assemble the salad: Arrange lettuce on a platter. Scatter olives, peperonicin, caper berries, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and feta over top. Drizzle with dressing.

Strawberries with Yogurt and Pistachio
1 large contanier (about 16 oz) Greek yogurt or other plain yogurt (I used Brown Cow)
1 pound fresh strawberries, stemmed if desired
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp honey
1/4 cup shelled, unsalted, roasted pistachios, coarsley chopped

Divide yogurt and strawberries among bowls. Drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with pistachios.

1 comment:

laneyu said...

mmmm, i need to try this!