The Mississippi Delta is likely the smallest great melting pot of nationalities in the US, and our foods reflect that condition. This spanakopita recipe is along those lines, using our brown long grain rice to add nutrition, texture, and body to elevate a Greek classic. Phyllo is in limited supply among our grocers as it can be in the Greek countryside, so we use puff pastry with good effect and ease as they sometimes do.
¾ pound fresh spinach, stemmed
1 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
½ cup Beulah Land Tan or Beulah Land Medley Brown Rice
1 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp black pepper, ground
1 tsp fresh or freeze dried dill
4 ounces Feta cheese
2 ounces pine nuts
1 17 ounce package puff pastry, containing 2 sheets
1 egg, beaten
In medium saucepan, combine 1 tbsp oil and chicken stock and bring to boil. Add rice, cover, and cook on low simmer for 40 minutes. Fluff and set aside to cool.
In large bowl, blend well the spinach, mint, parsley, and scallions.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In large skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add garlic and lightly brown. Add the spinach blend and begin sautéing rapidly. Add dill and pepper, continuing to sauté and blend. When blend well heated and cooked down, remove from heat to moderately cool.
Grease a 9 inch oven proof pie plate. In bottom, place one puff pastry sheet, trimming excess.
Blend together the modestly cooled spinach blend and rice, then add the pine nuts and Feta cheese and blend well. Place this mixture in pie plate atop the bottom crust. Then place the remaining puff pastry atop the spinach blend, trimming excess. Lightly brush the top of crust with the beaten egg.
Place in oven, baking for 25 minutes or until crust lightly browned. Remove, slice and serve. Great with lemons or tzatziki on the side.