This has to be one of my favorite dishes. I love Greek flavors. I also love anything that gives my hemoglobin a nice little boost (the blood bank told me I have excellent hemoglobin levels so it must be working!) Spinach will do that for ya! Spanakopita is basically a spinach pie, traditionally filled with spinach, feta cheese, onion, egg…but of course this version is veganized for your v-gasm pleasure.
1 package (18 oz) of Frozen Pastry Leaves – you can find these in specialty markets. I like the big circles by a brand called Omur and says Yufka•Jufka on the package. If you can’t find these, just use some Frozen Phyllo Dough. Leave the Dough out at room temperature to thaw.
15 oz of raw baby spinach
1 lb extra firm tofu
2 white onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 cup white wine (preferably a sauvignon blanc)
1 1/4 cup homemade vegetable stock
2 tbsp soy butter
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp shiro miso (white miso)
1 cup Kalamata olives
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup or so of canola or safflower oil
2 tbsp grape seed oil
2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
First off, I used some onions that I had previously cooked the day before when making a white wine sauce and the flavor went really well with this so…lets make that sauce again shall we?
In a sauté pan, sweat one onion (chopped) with 2 tbsp of soy butter. Basically, you want to cook the onions on a relatively low heat until they are translucent (not browned.) Add in the white wine and increase the heat to med-high until the sauce is reduced by about 2/3. Add in the vegetable stock and continue cooking for another 10 minutes on medium heat. Strain the sauce, reserving the liquid for use in another dish…maybe braise it with tofu…but that’s another recipe. The onions are what we’re going to be using for this dish.
Next, sauté the spinach with a couple tbsp of safflower or canola oil until they are just wilted. Promptly pour the spinach into an ice bath to stop the cooking, allowing it to sit for a few minutes before straining.
Heat a couple more tbsp of oil in the sauté pan and add the other uncooked chopped onion, garlic, sea salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, then add the other onions that had been cooked in the white wine. Continue cooking for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped dill and basil. Add the miso and nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Finally, crumble in the tofu and stir once more to combine.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with canola oil spray.
Spread out your pastry leaves (keeping all 3 layers stacked one on top of the other. You can brush each layer with some oil before layering them, but you don’t need to and omitting that step will reduce the fat content a bit…if you’re into that.) Place all of the spinach-tofu filling in the center of the pastry dough and spread it towards you and away from you to form a rectangular shape, leaving about 3 inches or so of room on the top and bottom so you can fold the dough over. Fold the top and bottom of the dough in towards the center, then fold the left side over to meet the right side. Brush/spray a little more oil on the dough, then fold the right side over to towards the left and tuck the remaining dough underneath. Confusing? Meh. Just create some sort of massive burrito-like shape. Brush some grape seed oil on top and sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt…I used some fancy pink Australian salt flakes. Place onto the baking sheet and bake until the dough turns golden brown on top (about 20 minutes or so.)
Garnish individual slices with some chopped Kalamata olives and some toasted pine nuts.