This classic Spanikopita is changed a bit by using kale intend of spinach. These handheld savory pastries contain well-seasoned bits of chopped kale, and they've always struck me as one of the most perfect light lunches or appetizers in the world.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 bunches chopped scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
- 18 ounces kale (about two good-sized bunches)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup crumbled Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest (from about ½ a lemon)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 20 sheets (1/2 package) frozen Phyllo Dough, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator
- ½ cup butter
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 tablespoon salt and the kale. Cover the pot, then simmer for 6 minutes. Drain the kale and when cool enough to handle, squeeze out all the liquid using your hands. When you can’t get out any more, roll the kale up in a clean dish towel and keep squeezing. Cut out the thick spine portion of the kale and then, chop finely and add to a medium mixing bowl.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat and add the scallions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add to the bowl with the kale, then mix in the eggs, cheese, lemon zest and black pepper. Taste for salt, adding a little additional pepper if needed.
- Clear out a workspace. You’ll need room to put the phyllo on dry counter space and to place a cutting board nearby. You’ll also want room for the butter and the kale filling. (The idea is to streamline your work and not be racing around the kitchen once you’ve started, since the dough can get sticky.)
- Unwrap the phyllo dough. Place the pile of sheets on the dry counter space you cleared out. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top. Cover with a damp paper towel large enough to cover the sheets. This prevents the phyllo from sticking.
- Take a sheet of phyllo and place it on your cutting board. Brush with butter. Layer on another sheet of phyllo. Brush that with butter. Layer on another sheet. Continue until you’ve used 10 sheets.
- Scoop half of the kale mixture (about ¾ cup) onto one end of the phyllo sheets. Arrange it so it’s a cylinder along the end. Roll up the sheets around the kale filling and transfer to a baking sheet. Use a serrated knife to score the top of cylinder into 8 pieces (don’t cut all the way through). Repeat with the second 10 sheets, the rest of the oil, and the rest of the filling. Bake the pastries 18 to 20 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
- Let cool 5 to 10 minutes, then cut all the way through where you scored and serve warm.
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