I love spanakopita; simple as that. Sauteed spinach and soft warm feta is the perfect combination of flavors, but when you pack it between sheets and sheets of buttery phyllo, it’s not the healthiest way to consume all of those greens on a regular basis. Here’s a fresher, lighter way to enjoy those flavors in what can be a hearty side dish or great vegetarian meal.
Recipe: Quinoa and Spanakopita Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
- 4 large portobello mushroom caps
- 1/2 pound fresh spinach (or a 1 1/2 bags)
- medium onion, chopped
- 4 scallions, diced
- 3 TB fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1/2 cup feta (set aside 2 TB)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup white quinoa
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- toasted pine nuts, rough chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Gently wipe off the mushroom caps with a damp towel; carefully remove stem and scrape out the gills with a spoon. Place the caps on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil, a couple splashes of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Roast for 10-12 minutes, flipping half way through, just to soften before stuffing.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Saute the onions and scallions until tender. Add the spinach and dill and cook until the spinach is wilted. Sprinkle (or grate) a little nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cool, rough chop and stir in feta.
Cook quinoa per package directions, using chicken stock instead of water to add more flavor. It should be fairly fluffy when cooked, not heavy, dense and clumped together
Assemble and bake:
With mushroom caps gill side up on the sheet pan, spoon in 1/4 cup of quinoa into each one. Then top with a heaping spoon of spanakopita filling, even divided among the four caps. Sprinkle with the reserved feta, drizzle with a little olive oil and put back in the oven for 15 minutes until warmed all the way through. Put under broiler if your oven doesn’t brown the top to your liking during the baking process. Sprinkle with pine nuts for a little crunch. Drizzle with a little more balsamic if you wish. NOTE: Before assembling, taste the filling and the quinoa to make sure each layer is sufficiently seasoned for your taste; adjust as needed. Enjoy!