Anyone else live and breathe by appetizers? They may very well be my favorite food group of them all.
Well, besides desserts. Because…c’mon.
But I really do love appetizers. Which is crazy because before I met Mark (aka. the King and Lover of All Appetizers), I so was not an app girl.
“Give me a big ol’ meal plz. No need to waste my time on little bite-sized non-sense” says naive 3-years-ago Alexa.
One of my favorite appetizers growing up was spanakopita. Ever heard of it?
Not sure how common it is, so here’s a quick explanation:
A Greek appetizer that is outrageously crispy on the outside thanks to super thin layers of phyllo dough, super cheesy and spinachy on the inside, so totally addictive.
We used to buy them in the freezer section at Costco for parties or app nights, but who knew they’d be so easy to make from scratch!
And so easy to make vegan!
For real, guys. If you’re afraid of making these little Phyllo Love Triangles (copyright pending on that title, btw), I get it. I was too. Have you seen phyllo dough?!
It’s as thin as a piece of parchment paper. I kid you not. It’s what they create baklava out of (which I’m already dreaming up a recipe for), so it crisps up beautifully out of the oven. It also is the perfect pastry wrapping paper for delicious fillings like spinach and “feta.”
Just be a careful while you’re working with it. If it rips, that’s fine. Each of the Spanakopita are made up of six layers of phyllo – you won’t even know they ripped once they’re cooked!
Also, fun fact: a lot of the store-bought phyllo dough I found is vegan! It blew my mind. I love making pastries, but I have no desire to roll out individual layers of phyllo dough from scratch. If you can find a vegan version at your local supermarket, do it. I found mine at Whole Foods!
Okay, so the filling is awesome and simple. And you’ll only need a handful of ingredients because life is short and we need these Vegan Spanakopita in our mouths ASAP. You’ll sauté some spinach, add some salt and pepper, nutmeg (weird, but trust me), and then a big ol’ scoop of Vegan Cashew Ricotta.
I saw that. Please don’t roll your eyes. I know. It’s Cashew Ricotta again. I’m slightly debating changing the name of this blog to The Cashew Ricotta Blog because I’ve used it so dang much in the past few months.
I’m only half joking.
But it really does work perfectly here! It dries up a bit when cooked (it tastes better than it sounds), and I swear you’ll never know you’re not eating dairy!
After 25-30 minutes, you’ll be greeted with crispy golden brown deliciousness! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am over this recipe.
Okay, I came back from running errands on the day I made these, and I literally ate one cold, straight from the fridge, before I even took off my shoes.
And then again last night as soon as I came back from barre.
Obsessed much? Most definitely. Vegan Spanakopita, you have stolen my heart.
Cheesy, spinach-y, crispy, and addictive! You'll love these simple Greek Vegan Spanakopita triangles for an appetizer!
- 1 lb. fresh baby spinach
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus about 1/3 cup for brushing
- 1/2 batch Vegan Cashew Ricotta, (omit basil)
- salt + pepper
- a few grates of fresh nutmeg
- 6 sheets phyllo dough (check to ensure vegan friendliness), thawed and at room temperature
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add your spinach and olive oil to a large skillet, and sauté until wilted (but not mushy). Add it to a medium mixing bowl with your Cashew Ricotta. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and then grate in some nutmeg with a microplane. Mix well to combine and set aside.
- Find a large surface to work on (preferably a large cutting board, as we'll be cutting the dough in a second). Carefully unwrap and unfold your phyllo dough next to your cutting board, and place it under a piece of parchment paper with a tamp dish towel over top. This keeps the dough from drying out.
- Grab a small bowl and add your 1/3 cup olive oil. Grab a silicone brush. Place 1 piece of phyllo on your large cutting board, re-cover the stack of phyllo dough, and carefully brush the top of your 1 piece of phyllo dough with olive oil. It's okay if the dough rips a bit, just try to piece it back together. Repeat until you have 6 layers of phyllo dough, all sandwiched together with olive oil. Brush the top with olive oil as well. Carefully make three cuts longways, dividing the dough into 4 long strips.
- Divide your filling into 4*, and place the filling at one end of each of the long strips (see photos). Carefully roll the strips into a folded-up triangle (like you're making a paper football), and place seam-side down on your baking sheet. Brush them with a bit of olive oil, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden to your liking.
- Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack to cool. Enjoy warm or room temperature. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge, and reheat in the oven.
*If you want 8 triangles instead of 4, I think you could cut the 4 long strips in half (one cut perpendicular to the cuts you already made), and divide the filling into 8. The bake time might be a bit less - I'd say 20ish minutes should do the trick.
Slightly adapted from Epicurious.
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