SALMON AND SPINACH STRUDEL
Ingredients for eight servings:
1 pound fresh baby spinach (or 2 -12 ounce boxes frozen)
1/3 cup Spanish onion, chopped
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh dill
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
6 ounces ricotta cheese, crumbled
2 large eggs, beaten
1 pound wild caught salmon, skinned and boned, cut into strips 2" wide
1 stick butter melted
1/2 pound phyllo dough (10 sheets)
sour cream or Greek yogurt
Filling: Wilt fresh spinach in two installments in a heavy pot with a thin layer of water at the bottom. Drain the wilted spinach in a strainer and press out as much moisture as possible. Coarsely chop. If using frozen spinach, defrost it and cook according to the instructions on the package. Drain, press out moisture and chop.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy skillet, and, when it stops foaming, add the onions, scallions and dill. Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the drained spinach and cook for a minute or 2 more. Add the salt and pepper.
Turn the hot mixture out into a mixing bowl to cool. Fold the ricotta cheese, and beaten eggs into the spinach. Taste and balance the seasonings. This filling may be made in advance and refrigerated overnight.
Shaping strudel: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter and let it cool slightly. Open the phyllo dough package and remove 5 sheets. Close, wrap and refrigerate remaining dough. Place the sheets on a clean, lightly floured towel. Brush half of the bottom sheet of phyllo with butter by lifting the top sheets and folding them in half. Repeat with the other four sheets finishing with the top sheet.
Spoon 1/4 of the spinach filling in an even strip along the edge of one of the shorter sides of the dough. Leave a 1 1/2" uncovered at either end. Lay a strip of salmon down the center of the strip. Spoon another 1/4 of the spinach over the salmon. Using the towel underneath to lift the phyllo, roll the dough and wrap up the filling. Tuck in the ends..
Lift the roll in the towel to an unoiled bake sheet. Repeat with five more sheets phyllo and remaining filling. Butter the top of each roll, prick with a fork at 2" intervals and bake for 15 - 17 minutes, until they are lightly browned and the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Let them cool briefly before serving.
Plating: Cut the strudel on an angle into 1" thick slices and serve 2 per person overlapped on a plate. Accompany each serving with a dollop of sour cream or thick, tart Greek yogurt and a sprig of dill.