These savory pastries look a lot like spanakopita, but the addition of ground lamb scented with a kofta-inspired blend of cinnamon, cumin and allspice means they're a far cry from the classic Greek spinach pie. Serve them with salad or mezze dishes for a hearty meal. And be sure to keep some in the freezer for an after-school snack or impromptu party appetizer. —danielle_centoni
onion, diced (2 cups)
cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
1 1/2 teaspoons
1 1/2 teaspoons
freshly ground black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
frozen chopped spinach, thawed
chopped fresh Italian parsley
crumbled sheep's milk feta cheese
toasted pine nuts
phyllo dough (preferably The Fillo Factory brand), thawed overnight in the refrigerator
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until completely soft and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lamb and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Remove from heat and drain off the excess fat. Stir in the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
Place spinach in a colander squeeze over the sink to wring out all the excess liquid. Add spinach to the lamb mixture, along with the chopped parsley.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until well blended. Stir in the lamb mixture until well combined. Fold in the crumbled feta (and toasted pine nuts, if using) until evenly distributed. Allow filling to cool completely before using. (Filling can be made several days ahead and refrigerated.)
Unroll the thawed phyllo onto a clean, dry surface. Cut the stack of sheets in half so you have two stacks that are 13-by-9 inches (skip this step if you’re using a different brand that has smaller sheets). Cover the stacks of phyllo with a slightly damp tea towel to keep the sheets from drying out. Set a few parchment-lined baking sheets nearby.
Lay one sheet of phyllo in front of you with the short side closest to you. Brush the surface lightly with melted butter. Fold the sheet in half lengthwise, like you’re closing a book, creating a narrow strip. Brush the surface with melted butter. Set a heaping tablespoon of filling near the bottom of the strip. Fold the bottom right corner diagonally up and over to the left, aligning the edges, to create a triangle.
Keep folding, as you would fold a flag, until you reach the end of the strip. Brush the edge with melted butter to seal it and place the triangle on the baking sheet. Brush the top with melted butter. Repeat with the remaining sheets of dough and filling, rewarming the butter as necessary. (If making ahead, freeze the triangles on baking sheets until firm, then pack in ziptop bags.)
To bake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake fresh phyllo triangles for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. To bake from frozen, bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.