Another garden to table recipe with swiss chard! I did mention how abundant it is in the garden right now, didn’t I? This one was inspired by my daughter who often requests spanakopita in her school lunches. She chose a box of filo dough at the grocery store last week and as I looked out at the garden I figured I should use all this lovely swiss chard instead of frozen spinach for this recipe. And for simplicity’s sake I chose to make this casserole version rather than individual ones. Now that she’s home for the summer, my daughter has more time to cook and bake with me and so we spent a lovely afternoon cooking together yesterday. In fact, the assembly of the dish was entirely done by her. Good job, don’t you think?
I think I might actually prefer the swiss chard to the traditional spinach used in this recipe. Swiss chard has a more pronounced flavor than spinach and stands out in the filling. You’ll need quite a bit of swiss chard as it wilts down to hardly any at all. I used about 1 1/2 lbs of chard, with the stems removed, or approximately 20 large leaves. We enjoyed this as a vegetarian dinner with sides such as hummus, tzatziki, pita bread, olives and salad. I love these type of meals where we nibble on lots of small appetizer style dishes rather than 1 main dish. This would be great for a buffet table or tapas style munchies such as we enjoyed. You can also make it ahead and freeze it just before you bake it. Simply pop it in the oven, from frozen, bake and serve.
Swiss Chard Spanakopita
- 1 1/2 lbs swiss chard (or 20 large leaves), ribs removed
- 1 large diced onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 cup crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- pinch of nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- 10 sheets filo dough
- 1/2 cup melted butter
Coarsely chop the swiss chard leaves and, with the water still clinging to the leaves, place in a large deep pan and cover with a lid until it has wilted. Remove the lid and stir, allowing the water to evaporate. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. Squeeze out as much of the water from the leaves as possible. Meanwhile, sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Add to the swiss chard and stir in the parsley, feta, parmesan cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste.
To assemble the spanakopita, butter the bottom of a 10 x 14 inch baking dish. Unroll the filo dough on a clean surface and cover with a damp cloth to prevent the sheets from drying out as you assemble the dish. Place a sheet of filo in your baking dish and brush with melted butter. The sheet of filo will cover the sides of your baking dish. Top with 4 more sheets of filo, brushing each with butter.
Spread the filling over the filo and top with the remaining 5 sheets of filo, brushing each with butter.
Fold the sides of the filo over the filling. Using a sharp knife make diagonal cuts along the length of the spanakopita approximately 2 inches apart. Turn the dish and make diagonal cuts in the other direction, forming diamond shaped spanakopita pieces. This will enable you to easily serve the spanakopita.
Preheat your oven to 400°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top has browned.