I made my very first batch of baklava in the sixth grade. That’s a pretty ambitious dessert for a 12 year old. Chopping nuts. Buttering each phyllo sheet carefully not to tear it. My Greek aunt gave me the recipe and pointers on how to make it so I rolled with it, and it was a hit at school. Let’s be real. I didn’t just decide one day I wanted to learn how to bake. It was part of my grade for a country report I did on Greece. I’m not Greek by blood. I’m actually mostly German, but many of my family members are Greek. I’ve been lucky to taste so many authentic dishes made with love, especially the classics, baklava and spanakopita. Maybe one day I’ll share those if I ever have a big gathering to cook for. Until then, we’ll just settle for this Greek bruschetta.
This recipe has many of the components that go into making spanakopita without all of the labor. Did I mention butter? No butter. Just good olive oil. It’s not as indulgent, but it’s still very tasty and healthy. If you want to switch up your lunch or need an afternoon snack or appetizer, this is fast and easy to make.
Use only the white and pale green parts of the leeks. Rinse thoroughly because dirt tends to get trapped in leeks. As the leeks cook, they will soften and break apart.
Add fresh spinach leaves in batches until it wilts. You could use frozen whole leaf spinach or even chopped spinach. Just make sure to thaw and drain it before cooking.
The feta melts slights adding that nice salty bite, and the mint is very subtle, but adding another depth of flavor. The tomatoes add a little freshness to the bruschetta.
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
This is easy and fast to put together for a quick lunch or snack. If you don’t have ciabatta bread, any bread will work. Just make sure the bread is toasted well enough to hold up to the spinach so the bread doesn’t become soggy.
serves 2 to 3
6 slices ciabatta bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 leek, pale green and white parts only, thinly sliced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
6 oz bag baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup grape tomatoes, diced
Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
Arrange the slices of ciabatta on a baking sheet and drizzle each one with olive oil. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes until toasted and light golden on top. Remove the toasts from the oven and set aside.
In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until leeks soften. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the spinach in batches until all the spinach has wilted about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add the feta and mint, and gently stir together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the spinach mixture over the ciabatta toasts. Garnish with tomatoes and serve.