Spinach Hellim Pie
Ispanakli borek, or spinach bread, layers flaky phillo dough with spinach and grated hellim cheese. This Cypriot spin on the classic spinach pie makes a great after school snack or hors d'oeuvre at a party, and is sure to please a crowd at any picnic, potluck, or buffet.
1/2 box fillo dough (about 20 sheets), thawed
1 1/2 cup whole yogurt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more to grease baking sheet
2 cups grated hellim
6-9 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 bunch mint, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbsp sesame seeds or nigella seeds
Preheat oven to 350°F
Mix eggs, yogurt, water, and 1/4 cup olive oil well in a bowl.
Combine spinach, mint and hellim in a separate bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste (adding crushed red pepper if desired) and set aside.
Grease a 9" x 12" baking sheet with olive oil (or use a baking dish that is similar size to your fillo sheets).
Lay three fillo sheets in the greased baking dish. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture all over the fillo. Repeat this layering of fillo and yogurt wash twice more.
Spread the spinach hellim filling evenly across the fillo. Continue layering three sheets of fillo with the yogurt mixture three more times. Lay any remaining sheets over the top of the pie, and spread with remaining yogurt mixture. Sprinkle the top with sesame and/or nigella seeds.
Bake at 350°F for about 40 minutes, until top is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
* This freezes and reheats very well.