Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fun with phyllo: spinach strudel

Oy. My kitchen lighting is just not great for photos at night. Or maybe it's me.
Anyhoo. I had some phyllo and spinach left over from making spanakopita for Christmas Day. And I had a partial tub of cottage cheese I'd forgotten about. And half an onion that was getting a bit shriveled. And a couple of slices of Black Forest ham. So I made up a strudel.

The onion got sauteed in butter with some garlic, and the spinach added, wilted, chopped and squeezed, and all of it added to the (drained) cottage cheese with a beaten egg and chopped ham and some salt and pepper and a little nutmeg.

That was spread onto about five sheets of phyllo that had been laid out and buttered, then all rolled up and baked at 375 for 20 minutes, and another minute under the broiler to brown up on top.
I wasn't really impressed with the phyllo's performance here (kinda soggy), but that filling turned out really good! The creaminess of the cottage cheese is a nice foil for the spinach. I don't often cook with cottage cheese, but it seems to me that it can work in places where you might use ricotta.

This treatment of spinach could just be tossed in a casserole and baked and served as a side dish, I think. Do you have any other ideas?


  1. Such the phyllophile ;-).

    Rick in VT

  2. Squeeze the spinach more? Drain the cottage cheese more? Use more than five sheets of phyllo? Brush some beaten egg on the phyllo before adding the spinach mixture? Make a tart crust and use the filling in a quiche instead?

    Claire @

  3. Hubby isn't a big fan of ricotta so I use cottage cheese in lasana. It's great!

  4. Kitt, I love spinach as side dish, sprinkled with a little bit of olive oil and grated parmesan cheese.

    We love salmon in phyllo, we normally use 8 sheets for this. We put it sour cream, dill, salt and pepper. They are good!

  5. Interesting idea! My DH isn't a ricotta fan either, I'll have to try out cottage in the lasagna. Looks yummy!

  6. I like to swap cottage cheese and ricotta too, mostly in lasagna or mac & cheese.

    Would the spinach mixture work over pasta? Or on a french bread pizza?

  7. i have no ideas, but i wish i'd been there with a plate at the ready. :)

  8. Mmm, nothing beats the combination of cheese baked with spinach... I'd happily monch away on the whole thing, soggy phyllo dough and all!

  9. That looks delicious! I have all those ingredients right here, too! Except for the phyllo dough. And the spinach. And the ham.

    Hmmm... maybe I'll just eat some cottage cheese.

  10. Ha, Rick! (I also dubbed it spanakoPainInTheAss.)

    Claire, I think yes, it was probably too moist and had not enough layers. But still pretty tasty, and even better on days two and three. My original plan was to make a quiche, until I remembered I had phyllo to use up.

    Julie, I'll have to see how I like it in lasagna.

    Blue, you can't go wrong there!

    Jenny, Ive also seen it suggested that you puree the cottage cheese to make it more ricotta-like in texture.

    Ooh, Beatrice, I like the pizza idea.

    Maya, it's super simple, so you could try it!

    Jesse, I'm managing to nom through it despite the phyllo. Yum.

    Lauren, you crack me up.

  11. That spinach pastry looks great!

    Have a great new year!