|Three Cheese Spinach Bake in Filo|
Dill is either an herb or a spice depending on the part of the plant you utilize. Fresh and dried dill leaves referred to as "dill weed" are used as herbs. They are aromatic and best used fresh. Dill seed is used as a spice, with a flavour similar to caraway.
The name dill is thought to have originated from a Norse or Anglosaxon word "dylle" meaning to soothe or lull, the plant having the carminative property of relieving gas. Yes I did say that!!!
It has been used for its culinary and medicinal properties over the centuries. Dill was mentioned in the bible and in ancient Egyptian writings. It was popular also in the ancient Greek and Roman cultures, where it was considered a sign of wealth and was revered for it's healing properties.
Spinach, on the other hand, is a leafy vegetable and a Power Food!!! It is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, protein, phosphorous, zinc and vitamin E. In addition if is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin and selenium. Popeye had it right!!!!
Since the birth of my own blog a few months ago I have admired all the delicious entries to Weekend Herb Blogging from afar. This is one of my favourite dishes that I have decided to enter!!! It is similar in taste and texture to the Greek spanakopita and as some of you already know I love all things Greek!!!!
I serve it for brunch or a light lunch or dinner. Enjoy!!!
**Three Cheese Spinach Bake in Filo**
1/3 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
8 sheets filo dough, thawed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cup butter, melted
1/3 cup thinly green onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup finely snipped oil-packed dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried or fresh dill weed
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs, beaten
1-1/4 cups ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach , thawed, and well drained (squeeze out excess liquid)
Preheat oven to 325F.
Combine crumbs and Parmesan cheese; set aside. Unfold filo dough; remove 1 sheet of filo dough. (Cover remaining dough with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out). Lightly brush filo with some of the melted butter; sprinkle with 1 T Parmesan cheese mixture. Place another sheet on top of the first; brush with butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese mixture; repeat until all filo is used.
Gently ease filo into a 2-quart baking dish, pleating as necessary, be careful not to tear the dough. Trim edges with scissors so they extend 1/2-inch beyond the dish. Cover and set aside. Set remaining bread crumb mixture aside.
In a medium saucepan cook onions and minced garlic in hot oil for 1 minute; stir in flour and dried tomatoes. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Place beaten eggs in a medium bowl. Stir about 1/2 of the hot mixture into the eggs to temper them; return all to the saucepan. Stir in ricotta cheese or cottage cheese, dill, 1/2 cup of the feta cheese, and the spinach. Spoon into prepared dish. With scissors, snip extended filo at 1-inch intervals. Top with remaining feta cheese and the remaining Parmesan crumb mixture.
Bake uncovered, in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until egg mixture is set and golden brown. Let stand 10 - 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 6 - 8
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