Maybe you already know my recipe for Chortopitarakia, the small pies stuffed with wild green herbs.
If you do not have the time or patience to make those you should try this pie. Compared to the small pies it will take you about half hour to prepare the pie before cooking. So it is quickly done, healthy and even vegan!
As greens you can use any green vegetable you like. If you are a bit familiar in wild vegetables go out and find them on your own if your supermarket, grocery store or local weekly market does not offer any. Basically you can use the same green vegetables I used for my Chortopitarakia.
In Greece the women usually make their own filo pastry. But also in the local supermarkets you can find all kinds of filo pastry in the deep freezer. It makes life a bit easier and helps to reduce preparation time.
One most important thing is that you should never bake pies on air! In old times there were not existing ovens with circulating air! Women baked the food in a stone oven heated with woods. To get best results always bake pies on the lowest rack level to have a crunchy bottom of your pie. Make sure that the vegetables you use are dry before using them to reduce humidity while cooking and ensure that the bottom of your pie will not be soaked. A good trick is to add some breadcrumbs or semolina into the vegetables to catch the liquid of the greens while cooking.
What you need:
1 Pck. Filo Pastry (Greek thick filo pastry sheets – with 6 sheets)
2 medium leeks
1 medium dry onion
1 bunch of spring onions
1 bunch of dill
1 kg of green vegetables (like spinach, chervil, fennel leaves, dandelion leaves, parsley, nettle leaves etc.)
1-2 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. breadcrumbs or semolina
3/4 cups of olive oil
How to prepare:
Let the filo thaw over night in the fridge or for 2-3 hours at room temperature.
Clean all green vegetables carefully and let dry very good over night or on a kitchen towel.
Cut the onion in half and then in stripes. Cut the leek and spring onions in roles using also the green of the spring onions. Chop all green vegetables coarsely, using also the stems of the spinach, chervil, fennel and parsley! Caution: wear gloves if you use nettle leaves in your pie!
In a pan heat 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil and fry the dry onion stripes and the leek until glassy. Do not let get brown. Remove from the heat.
In a large bowl combine all remaining vegetables with 1-2 Tbsp. of salt. Mix and squeeze slightly with your hands until the vegetables fall wither away about half the size. Add the fried onions and mix well, season with pepper and cumin (optional). Add 2-4 Tbsp. of olive oil and the breadcrumbs or semolina and mix well.
Add some olive oil on the bottom of a large baking tin (app. 28 cm Ø or 30×40 cm) with low edges. Unfold the filo and place one sheet into the tin, overlapping one edge. Sprinkle some oil on the sheet and place the second sheet, overlapping one empty edge of the tin. Repeat with two more filo sheets.
Add the vegetables and spread out evenly.
Place on top of the vegetables one filo sheet. It is not necessary that the sheet is straight. In will look nicer if you crinkle the filo a bit. Sprinkle some olive oil on top and add the last sheet. Again sprinkle with some olive oil and cover the edges with the overlapping filo sheets. Cut the top sheets crosswise if you use a round tin or into squares if you have a rectangular tin.
Cook the pie at 200ºC for 1 hour on the lowest level of your oven with top and bottom heat. If the top of the pie has took a nice golden color before the end of the cooking time turn the oven on bottom heat and let cook the remaining time.
Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.