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spanakopita
Photo: norwichnuts on Flickr

We did it, we did it! We found a way for spinach haters to become spinach lovers. It’s called spanakopita, and all you need to do to find it is hit a Greek restaurant.

I love the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when John Corbin’s stoic parents are force-fed ouzo shots until the room starts to spin, then the crazy aunt comes over and recounts the following tale:

“All my life, I had a lump at the back of my neck, right here. Always, a lump. Then I start the menopause and the lump got bigger from the hormoneys. It started to grow,” she begins, “so I go to the doctor, and he did the bio… the b… the… the bios… the… b… the bobopsy. Inside the lump he found teeth and a spinal cord. Yes. Inside the lump was my twin. Spanakopita!” she finishes, just in time to offer her new family members a platter of enormous spinach pies. If that doesn’t whet your appetite, I fold.

The combination of spinach and feta cheese is widespread and insanely delicious. Enrobed in flaky, crisp phyllo, or unleavened flour dough, it’s portable, filling, and packs more spinach than you probably realize. Remember, spinach cooks way, way down. That pre-washed bag you bought with every intention of using? It’ll yield about a cup of cooked spinach, or two servings (or one big pie’s worth). So welcome the antioxidants, vitamin A, iron and calcium with the open arms of an overly friendly new family-in-law and enjoy spanakopita for lunch today.