Monday, July 11, 2011

Spinach-Feta Flatbread Bites with Tzatziki

A few months ago I received an email from TastingTable with a recipe for Spinach-Feta Cigars, a twist on the Greek grape-leaf wraps, which sounded delicious but I decided it was a recipe worth saving for an event rather than to whip up for a random dinner. Aaaand then life got really busy and various social events like dinner parties and game nights stopped happening, nevermind the general lack of time to make something slightly more complicated than throwing random veggies in a bowl and dousing them with olive oil, vinegar and calling it a 'dinner salad'. But these bite-sized tastes of Greece were definitely worth holding on to the recipe for!

Co-hosting a baby shower for my friend Michaela with a few of my favorite nursing girls gave me a great reason to pull out this recipe. As you can see, we had quite a spread- pretty impressive given that half of us had been working night shifts before the event!

A few of the blogs my aunt sent me, which I mentioned in my last post, are event-centered blogs, and boy did they give me tons and tons of ideas for future showers - when I'll hopefully have both more time and money. For some awesome inspiration, check out Eat Drink Pretty (and the myriad of sites and blogs the genius Jenna links to), as well as Bump Smitten for more baby-kid themed events. And even if you aren't a frequent hostess, it's still just a lot of fun to look at possibilities and the fact that most of this is diy- which means that *technically* I could pull off such things!

A very fun day was had by all at the shower, and lots of adorable baby girl things were oooo-ed and awww-ed over. Truthfully, the reason I changed up the recipe and used pita bread rather than filo dough and wrapping them up according to the original recipe was because I made the rookie mistake of forgetting you have to thaw filo dough for at least overnight. So when I was scrambling to finish my 3 dishes and running across town to find filo dough 45 minutes before the event, I was a little stuck- but nobody there knew these were adapted, and they were well-liked, so it all worked out!

Spinach-Feta Flatbread Bites with Tzatziki, adapted from Spinach Cigars with Tzatziki
Serves ~8

1 1/2 Tbs seedless cucumber, finely diced
1/2 tsp fresh garlic paste (~2 cloves)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped
1 Tbs yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
salt & white pepper, to taste

Spinach-Feta Filling
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1 Tbs finely chopped shallots (1/2 shallot)
1/2 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped
2 tsp cumin
Fresh lemon juice
1 whole wheat pita, halved 
Melted butter to coat pita

1. Make the tzatziki: fold cucumber, garlic paste, cumin, dill, onion, olive oil and lemon juice into the yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover and store in the refrigerator  for the flavors to develop.
2. To make the filling; bring a large pot of water to boil and prepare an ice bath. Blanch the spinach for 10 seconds, then transfer to the ice bath.
3. Remove the spinach and place in a clean towel, wring out as much liquid as possible and roughly chop the spinach, then place it in a bowl. Add feta, shallots, garlic, dill, cumin and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and fold to combine. 
4. Melt the butter while preheating the oven to 400ยบ. 
5. Place the pita on a baking sheet, coat with butter and spread filling evenly to the edges. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the feta starts to melt.
6. Remove and allow to cool slightly, cut into bite-sized pieces. Dot each piece with tzatziki and serve!

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