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Cyprus cuisine with Marilena: Spanakopita — a spinach pie
Cyprus cuisine with Marilena
Evgeniya Theodorou
Author: Evgeniya Theodorou
Translation: Maria Charnaya
Photo: Daria Saulskaia

Today Marilena decided to share her secret of making an incredibly delicious (as well as beautiful) version of Spanakopita, a famous Greek pie made with crispy phyllo. This is the same recipe as the one that was used years ago in Gialousa, a town on the Karpass Peninsula of Cyprus.

So what is traditional spanakopita? Translated from Greek, spanakopita means a pie with spinach. The phyllo (filo) dough used in the recipe comes from the Greek word «φύλλο», which means «sheet». It is flavorless, very thin (resembles a sheet of paper) and incredibly popular in Greek and Cypriot cooking.

Like with many other Mediterranean dishes, making this pastry entails a few pleasant surprises.

First of all, this pie is made with spinach — an extraordinary powerhouse that is rich in antioxidants, important nutrients and vitamins like A, C and E. It contains iron, magnesium, folic acid (B), which retain their value even after being frozen.

This recipe also uses a unique combination of ingredients like bulgur, raisins as well as aromatic spices like cinnamon and clover.

Try it and we are convinced that spinach will become a regular guest at your dinner table.

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Spinach pie — a famous Greek pie




Flour – 500 gr.

Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

Olive oil – 3 tablespoons

Water – 200 ml.


Fresh spinach – 700 gr.

Salt – 1 teaspoon

Olive oil – 3 tablespoons

Scallions – 3 sprigs

Bulgur (wheat) – 1/2 cup

Cinnamon – 1/2 teaspoon

Clover – 1/4 teaspoon

Black pepper, coarse ground – 1/2 teaspoon

Raisins – 1/2 cup

Cooking method

First prepare the filling: wash the spinach, dry it and then chop it up. Add salt and mix using hands.

Wash, peel and chop up the scallions. Then slightly fry them in olive oil. Add the bulgur and spices, mix well and remove from heat.

Once the bulgur has cooled down, add the spinach, raisins and mix well.

To prepare the dough, mix flour, salt and olive oil. Then add water, mix well using hands or a mixer until the dough is soft. Divide your dough into 5-6 equal parts. These will be your pies. Roll each part of dough using a rolling pin. Keep the other parts covered in plastic wrap to make sure they don't become dry.

Continue thinning the dough by running it through a roller machine for pasta until each sheet is as thin as possible.

Put some filling in the center of the sheet (spreading it along its length). Roll the sheet carefully making sure the filling is spread evening inside. To get a «twisted» effect, hold the roll on each side using one hand, while rolling it with the other hand.

Place the rolls onto a baking sheet in a spiral-shaped manner. Sprinkle with olive oil and bake for 45-60 minutes at 160-180 °С degrees until golden-brown. 

Cut into smaller pieces and serve for breakfast or with your afternoon tea.

Recipe by Marilena Joannides.


Enjoy your meal!