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Spinach Pie Recipe - Serbian Pita Zeljanica

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Pita Zeljanica or Serbian Spinach Pie

Pita Zeljanica or Serbian Spinach Pie

© Flickr by Selecshine
This recipe for Serbian spinach pie or pita zeljanica is similar to a savory strudel or Serbian burek made with flaky filo dough. Zeljanica falls into the category of layered dishes sometimes called gibanica, which are made sweet or savory, or salty, as they are known in Serbia. Zeljanica makes a great appetizer, snack, brunch or side dish, or main course.

Makes 6 to 8 servings Serbian Spinach Pie or Pita Zeljanica

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes thawed frozen chopped spinach or 3 pounds fresh spinach, cleaned, blanched and chopped
  • 1 pound grated brick cheese
  • 1 pound large-curd creamed cottage cheese
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 large beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow corn meal
  • 8 sheets thawed filo dough
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) melted butter

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Squeeze spinach dry. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine spinach, brick cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, milk, eggs, flour and corn meal, and set aside.

  2. Lightly brush a 13x9-inch pan with melted butter. Lay down 1 sheet of filo dough, and lightly brush it with butter. Continue with 3 more sheets of buttered filo so you have a base of 4 sheets of buttered filo dough.

  3. Spread filling evenly over filo base. Lay down 1 sheet of filo dough, and lightly brush it with butter. Continue with 3 more sheets of buttered filo so you have a top of 4 sheets of buttered filo dough, the same as for the base. Brush liberally with remaining butter, trimming excess edges of filo dough or turning them in toward the center.

  4. Bake 45 minutes, more or less, or until top is golden and filling is set (test with a thin knife). Let cool, cut into squares and serve warm or cold.

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