Spinach and Matzoh Pie

DSC02609One of the dishes I made for last month’s Iron Chef Dinner was this Spinach and Matzoh Pie. I assumed it would taste like spinach lasagna, but it was actually much more like spanakopita. The matzo crackers took the place of thin sheets of phyllo dough. It’s a great dish for Passover, or any time of the year. The leftovers were also delicious warmed up the next day. This was actually my first time cooking with matzo. I also recently tried a recipe from Ruth Reichl for Matzo Brei, a wonderfully simple mix of butter, eggs, and crumbled matzos that Reichl calls “one of life’s perfect foods.”

Spinach and Matzoh Pie (from Gourmet, 2008; makes 8 servings)

1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped dill, divided
1 (16-ounce) container cottage cheese
2 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
6 ounces feta, crumbled (1 1/2 cups), divided
6 matzos (about 6 inches square)

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

Cook onion in oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put spinach in a sieve and press out as much liquid as possible. Add spinach to onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/3 cup dill, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Purée cottage cheese in a blender with milk, eggs, nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper until smooth. Reserve 2 cups in a bowl and stir remainder into spinach with 1 cup feta.

Stack matzos in a deep dish and pour reserved cottage-cheese mixture over them. Let stand 15 minutes to soften.

Arrange 2 soaked matzos side by side in a generously oiled 13- by 9- by 2-inch (3-quart shallow) baking dish. Pour in half of spinach filling. Cover with 2 more matzos, then pour in remaining filling. Put remaining 2 matzos on top and pour any remaining cottage-cheese mixture over them. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup feta.

Bake, uncovered, until golden and set, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, then serve sprinkled with remaining 2 tablespoons dill.

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