What to Make With Leftover Phyllo (Fillo or Filo) Dough? An Easy Cottage Cheese and Spinach Pie
Well, I intended to make baklava with that phyllo dough that sat in the refrigerator too long, but I didn't quite get there, so I needed to use up the dough before it got even more dried out. Short on time (and patience!) I opted to make a pie that doesn't require rolling or brushing the fragile phyllo dough. Instead, you just tear it, crumple it up in pieces into a big bowl, toss it with some olive oil, and you've got a top and bottom crust almost ready to go. To make the spinach pie, you simply toss half of the phyllo into the bottom of a springform pan (or use a big pie dish), add the filling, and top with the remainder of the crumpled phyllo. The dough--layered and ruffled in no particular order--bakes up crispy, crunchy. The filling for the savory pie is a mixture of cottage cheese, eggs, spinach and a little cheese. The pie is topped with sesame seeds, which bake up golden and fragrant in the oven. Try the pie for a side dish or a meatless main dish. It's also good served alongside soup and/or a salad for a light but filling meal. Enjoy!
Easy Cottage Cheese and Spinach Pie -- Serves 6+
3 cups of cut/torn phyllo pastry
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of cottage cheese (low fat is fine)
1 tablespoon of minced dried onion (yes, dried--it soaks up moisture from the spinach)
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
2 large eggs
2 cups of coarsely chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella
3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
A little salt if you want (I don't use it, because the cheeses are salty)
Sesame seeds (1-2 tablespoons)
Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and spritz the paper with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl toss the cut/torn phyllo pastry with the oil. Toss away! You want the pastry pieces fairly well coated with the oil. Don't worry if the pieces break/tear, that's the point. You want them nicely tossed and kind of fluffy, too--not matted together. Place about half of the phyllo pieces in the bottom of the springform pan, spreading the pieces out evenly to cover the bottom of the pan. In a medium bowl whisk together well the cottage cheese, dried onion, garlic powder, pepper and eggs. Stir in the spinach, mozzarella, Parmesan, and salt (if you're using it). Spoon the mixture over the bottom layer of phyllo in the pan. Top the filling with the remainder of the phyllo, spreading the phyllo out evenly to cover the filling. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds evenly. Spritz the top of the pie with a little non-stick cooking spray. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet or wrap it with foil if your pan tends to leak. Bake the pie in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Let the pie sit a few minutes before removing the sides of the springform pan. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature.