World Cup Party: Viva Greece!

Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo credit: Everyday Food

You need little spinach hand pies for tonight’s World Cup game of Greece vs. Japan. Yes, you do.

You need super-flaky spanakopita, cut into palm-sized squares stuffed with spinach, leeks and crumbled feta. You need to savor the garlic scattered throughout. You need to stuff them into your mouth, one at a time, between spells of shouting at the television screen.

What, not cheering on Greece tonight? Make spanakopita anyway. It’s that good.

By Everyday Food
Serves 8

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish
4 bunches curly- or flat-leaf spinach (about 3 1/2 pounds total), trimmed and washed
1 3/4 pounds leeks (white and light-green parts only), halved lengthwise, rinsed well, and sliced crosswise
2 garlic cloves, minced
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
24 sheets frozen phyllo dough (from a 16-ounce package), thawed
3/4 cup crumbled feta (4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With a pastry brush, brush bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with oil. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup water over medium-high. Working in batches, add spinach and cook, tossing, until completely wilted, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain, pressing out as much water as possible. Return skillet to heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add leeks and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in nutmeg. Transfer spinach and leek mixture to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped.

Cut phyllo sheets to fit baking dish. Place 1 sheet in dish (keeping remaining sheets covered with a damp towel) and brush lightly with oil. Stack 7 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with oil. Spread half the spinach mixture over phyllo and evenly sprinkle half the feta on top. Add 8 more phyllo sheets, brushing each with oil. Spread with remaining spinach mixture and feta. Top with remaining 8 phyllo sheets, brushing each with oil.

Bake until phyllo is golden and crisp on top, about 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before cutting into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

For more World Cup-inspired recipes, visit Everyday Food.