Saturday, February 4, 2012

Spinach

The other day I had extraordinary pizza at work.
Round about 11:00am every day, people begin to discuss lunch.
That is because our factory is located deep in the heart of the most Italian part of Rhode Island.
Think Goodfellows. Think a trial is about to begin for yet another mob boss, and they are asking for an anonymous jury. Really Italian.

Anyway, this pizza has spinach, olives, and pepperoni, with fresh (really fresh) mozzarella.
From here http://theoriginalitalianbakery.com/bakery.html
So my sister on the West Coast writes when she sees the picture, and says that she never thought of spinach on pizza. 
I am floored by this. 
Living over here, we take for granted the abundance of fresh spinach and garlic in and on so many things, even as as side dish, just sauted spinach in olive oil with garlic.

Here is an Uno Chicago Style Pizza spinach pizza

 This has the spinach with Feta cheese and a little onion in a buttery deep dish crust. 
It does not begin to compare to the luxurious richness of the first pizza, but for $3.99 from a chain restaurant
it is a very tasty bite and a great value.
Here's the thing. 
Uno calls this Spanakopita.
http://www.unos.com/menus/smallPlates.php
It is very good, but it is not Spanakopita!
This is Spanakopita -

When I was young and beginning to bartend I worked with a Greek bartender named Gino in Hollywood.
To this day, with any question about the bar, I think "What would Gino do?"  He was a pro.
One day between shifts he took me to his Grandmother's house.  She served us Spanakopita.

I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.  It was so good.
Spinach and Feta, seasoned and wrapped in filo flag fold triangles.
I learned to make my own.  Here is the recipe.

Now, years later my family has come to expect them at any family gathering.

They are not fast and easy to make. 
 But they are so delicious that they are worth the time and effort to make them.
To me, Spanakopita is the supreme spinach experience.
I am not done about spinach.  That is enough for now!  Chloe.