Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spinach and Smoked Salmon Pie

The Greek classic “spanakopita” is traditionally made with layers of thin, flaky phyllo sheets filled with spinach and feta cheese (and a few other ingredients), then folded into triangles and baked. And those little handheld pies are incredibly scrumptious.

For this recipe, I used some of the traditional spanakopita ingredients in a potpie preparation—and added a little smoked salmon and ricotta to round out the dish as dinner. Instead of phyllo, I opted for puff pastry—still thin and flaky but sturdier than phyllo and easier to work with for this method. 

For other potpies, check out Skillet Chicken Potpie with Fresh Herbs and Beef Stew Potpie

Serves 4-6

  • olive oil for oiling skillet, plus 1 tbsp
  • 1 medium leek, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 large bunch fresh spinach (about 1 lb) washed, spun dry, and chopped (long stems trimmed)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 4 oz (1 pkg) smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 pkg. (17.3 ounces) puff pastry, thawed (2 sheets)
  • flour, for dusting

Spinach and Leek 
Smoked Salmon 
Sliced Salmon
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly oil a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or pie pan).
  2. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the leek and sauté until beginning to soften, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, leaving any liquid in the pan.
  4. Whisk the ricotta, 2 beaten eggs, and thyme in a bowl until combined. Stir the ricotta mixture, salmon, and feta into the spinach mixture.
Softened Leek 
Spinach Added
Wilted Spinach 
Ricotta, Egg, and Thyme
Ricotta Mixture 
Filling Ingredients Ready to Combine
Combined Pie Filling
  1. Unfold a pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll into about a 12-inch square and place in the oiled skillet, bringing up along the sides. Trim the corners and edges to fit the skillet.
  2. Turn the spinach mixture onto the pastry and smooth to an even layer.
  3. Roll out the remaining pastry sheet and place it on top, crimping the edges around the border. Make light crisscross cuts in the top crust and brush with beaten egg white.
  4. Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes.
Roll Out the Pastry Sheet 
Trimmed Pastry in the Skillet 
Filled Pie 
Ready to Bake 
Baked Pie
Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before cutting.

Spinach and Smoked Salmon Pie


  1. That looks wonderful! I have never put salmon in a pie before... I think I have to try this!

    1. Thanks much, Carlee --- I think the smoky salmon really gave it great flavor! Hope you enjoy.