It had to happen you guys! My love for pizza and my love for spanakopita had to collide and become spanako’pizza. My skills in making a really good homemade phyllo are yet to be developed and that is why you haven’t seen a spanakopita recipe on the blog yet but it’s coming. I have bastardised so many other foods from different cultures so I thought why not do the same with my own, thus this mashup.
My mom and my aunt make some of the best spanakopita I have had. Every Greek person will tell you the same thing about their mom’s or their aunt’s spanakopita and that is totally understandable. It’s all about what we were accustomed to growing up. Everyone loves it made a certain way, with a certain texture and when it comes to spanakopita some like it very herby or more cheese than greens etc…. you get my drift. All of them are acceptable and according to taste. I’m not the Greek food police so I think when it comes to food anything goes as long as you’re happy with it and you love the way it tastes.
The pizza dough I use all the time is Dennis the Prescott’s recipe for basic pizza dough. I think it’s totally a no fail recipe. It requires a bit of elbow grease but it’s so worth it. It’s great to have in the freezer for a Friday night instead of ordering. It works with any toppings and it always has puffy deep golden edges, crispy crust and it bakes in under 15 minutes. What more could you ask for? That being said if you have a favourite pizza dough recipe that you are unwilling to part with (that is cool - I get it) then most definitely use that as your dough base. The toppings work on any dough.
The toppings for this one are basically what you would find in a spanakopita. Lots of σπανάκι/spanaki or spinach is involved, fresh herbs and green spring onion and most definitely some feta. I also used mozzarella cause the more cheese on a pizza the better, right? Right! I also added it because feta doesn’t melt and spread like fresh mozzarella and you always want a little cheese pull in your pizza.
Once you have your spinach cooked down - this pizza comes together super quickly. The base is olive oil, garlic and chilli flakes for some extra delicious flavour and then pile on the rest of the ingredients and bake. Simple as that, and you have yourself a healthy’ish pizza loaded with fresh herbs, greens, cheese, garlic and lemon giving this pizza a very spring’y Greek twist! Serve this with a horiatiki salad (Greek village salad - more feta involved) and a crisp glass wine and you my friends will not be disappointed.
Ingridients for the dough
Makes one large pizza or two small/medium 10-12 inch sized ones
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 cup plus 5 tbsp of lukewarm water
- 1½ cups all purpose flour- plus more for dusting
- 1½ cups bread flour or “OO” flour as recommended in original recipe and if you can find it
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- In a large bowl combine the yeast, honey, and water and stir well. Set aside for about 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate and bubble up.
- Add the flours, olive oil, and salt to the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until a mass of dough begins to form. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and put your timer on for ten minutes and start kneading.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl that has been lightly greased and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot and let the dough rise and double in size for approx 1 ½ hours. If you’re making ahead wrap and place in the fridge to rise overnight. The next day when you plan to use it warm it on the countertop for approx ½ hour 45 min before using.
- Once ready to use, punch down the dough and transfer to a floured surface. Cut the dough in half and shape both into balls
- Preparing one at a time, roll the dough out with a rolling pin into two 10-12 inch rustic circles
For the spinach mixture
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach chopped or 2 cups frozen spinach water squeezed out of it
- 3 whole green onions cleaned and chopped green and white parts included
- 1 tsp lemon juice and zest of ½ a lemon
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper ¼ cup fresh dill (can also mix with fresh oregano or fresh mint as well)
For the rest of the topping
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced or grated
- crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella torn
- ½ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese plus more to sprinkle on top after pizza is baked
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts optional to toss on pizza before serving for a little crunch
- A little extra olive oil to drizzle over before serving along with some more crumbled feta and chopped dill and micro greens
In a small frying pan heat oil to medium and the green onions and sauté for a couple Minutes until softened. Then add the spinach and continue to sauté until wilted and all excess liquids has evaporated.
Remove from heat and transfer to bowl and stir in the dill, oregano, lemon zest and juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste (add the other herbs as well if using) then set aside.
Preheat oven to 550 or 500°F according to your oven
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet or sheets if making two.
Generously brush the dough with olive oil. Add the garlic, a pinch each of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Spread evenly over the dough.
Add the spinach mixture evenly over the pizzas and then top with the mozzarella and then the feta. Transfer to the oven and bake 10-12 minutes or until the crust is crisp and the cheese has melted.
Remove the pizza from the oven and top with pine nuts more crumbled feta, chopped dill, micro greens and a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy. I also squeeze a little extra lemon juice on mine but that is totally optional.
- If using your own crust adjust time and temperature according to the recipe for the crust you are making
- If making two small pizza make sure to divide toppings evenly and accordingly in half