Special Dinner: Rack of Lamb and Spanakopita

Greek Spinach Feta Pie (Spanakopita)


For the spinach and feta filling
Three 10 oz frozen chopped spinach packets, thawed and drained well
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, stems trimmed, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 eggs
7 ounces quality feta cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons dried dill herb
Freshly ground black pepper

For the pastries
1 16 oz bag of Fillo Dough, thawed
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, more if needed


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Before you start mixing the filling, make sure the spinach is drained very well and squeeze out any excess liquid with your hand.

For the filling: Place the spinach and the remaining ingredients for the filling in a mixing bowl. Stir until everything is well mixed.

Unroll the phyllo (fillo) leaves and place them between two very slightly damp kitchen towels.

Prepare a 9½ x 13 inch casserole dish by brushing the bottom and sides of the dish with olive oil.

To Assemble the Spanakopita: Line the baking dish with two sheets of phyllo (filo) and let them cover the sides of the dish as well as the bottom of the dish.

Brush with olive oil. Add two more leaves in the same way and brush them with olive oil. Repeat until half of the filo (fillo) is used.

Next, spread the spinach and feta filling evenly over the phyllo (fillo).

Top with two more leaves and brush with olive oil. Continue layering the phyllo (fillo) leaves, two at a time, and brush with olive oil until you’ve used up all the leaves.

Brush the top layer with olive oil.
Fold the sieve onto the top layer.
Brush well with olive oil.
Bake in preheated 325 degree F oven for 1 hour or until phyllo (fillo) crust is crisp and golden brown.

Take out of the oven. Let rest while you prepare the lamb. Cut into squares to serve.

rack of lamb


For the lamb marinade:
5 garlic cloves, grated
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh herbs (like parsley, thyme, chives, oregano, and rosemary
Juice and zest of one lemon

For the rack of lamb:
1 rack of lamb, about 1 ½ pounds
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
½ cup Italian-flavored panko crumbs

Tzatziki Sauce, recipe below


Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a large zip-top plastic bag.
Season the lamb all over with kosher salt and pepper.
Place the rack of lamb in the bag with the marinade. Seal the bag and move the lamb around in the bag to coat the lamb evenly. Let the lamb marinate at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes (or in the fridge overnight if you have time).

If you refrigerated the lamb, bring it to room temperature.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F and place an oven rack on the top ⅓ of the oven.

Place the rack of lamb (bone-side up) in a foil-lined baking pan. Place the pan on the oven rack for 15 minutes.

Carefully remove from the oven and turn the rack of lamb to the other side. Sprinkle with panko crumbs.

Return to the oven and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes depending on how you like your rack of lamb (rack of lamb is usually served rare or medium, but you can serve medium if you prefer).

To avoid overcooking the lamb, use an instant-read thermometer to determine if the lamb is to your liking. For Rare the internal temperature should reach 125 degrees F and for Medium Rare around 135 degrees F. Check and remove from the oven 5 degrees before it reaches the desired temperature. While the rack of lamb rests, the temperature rises.

Remove from the oven and cover with foil. Let the lamb rest for about 10 minutes (the temperature will rise and the lamb will continue to cook a little).

Cut the lamb chops between the bones and arrange on a platter and serve with the tzatziki sauce.

Tzatziki sauce


1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely grated
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried dill
½ cup crumbled feta cheese


Use a box grater to manually grate the cucumber.
Toss the grated cucumbers with ½ teaspoon Kosher salt. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Squeeze the salted cucumbers to extract any liquid.

In a mixing bowl, combine the garlic with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Mix to combine.
Add the grated cucumber to the bowl with the garlic mixture. Stir in the yoghurt and the remaining ingredients.

Cover and place in the fridge for several hours to allow the flavors to develop.

Tomato salad


2 cups grape tomatoes
¼ of a red onion sliced
¼ teaspoon Greek spices
2 tablespoons vinaigrette


Combine the ingredients in a serving bowl. Leave at room temperature until ready to serve.

Posted by Jovina Coughlin in Healthy Italian, Lamb, Sauces, Spanakopita, Squash, Tomatoes, Tzatziki

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