Usually, during Easter , we were those despicable people who have no problem eating large juicy ‘stable’ steaks on Good Friday. We have also been known to watch the solemn Epitaphios procession on Stadiou street in Athens from behind the glass windows of Wendy’s while feasting on juicy burgers.
Nevertheless, I shall give you this seasonal recipe, so that I’m covered. Besides, Lenten or not, who can resist a delicious greens pie, especially now when it’s easier to find greens at grocery stores. And if you know how to roll out the dough, even better. I’m something of a lazybones and haven’t got a clue, but I can wholeheartedly recommend Anatoli pastry. I get mine from Thymari tou Strefi in Exarchia (51A Kallidromiou St., tel. 210 3300384) and you would swear it is homemade. Also, at the renowned Kyriakos grocery in the Faros Psychico district of Athens (210 6740932), not only do they find you just the right greens, they also deliver them to your home washed, if you live in the area; so as you may appreciate, the greens pie project gets even simpler. For the greens, try an assortment of chervil, Mediterranean hartwort and chard, the result will be delightful.
Yummy spinach and herb pie
- 1 packet village-style phyllo pastry dough
- 2 kg assorted greens (chervil, Mediterranean hartwort, chard or spinach), cleaned, washed and finely chopped
- 6 spring onions, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp semolina
Preheat the oven to 180oC with the hot air setting. Place the greens, dill, spring onions in a large bowl with plenty of salt and mix well by hand. Grease the inner surface of a baking dish with oil, lay down 4 sheets of pastry dough, brushing each one separately with oil. Sprinkle with the 2 tbsp of semolina. This is a little secret to keep in the juices from the greens during baking and prevent the pie base from becoming soft. Spread the filling, close the pie with the other sheets of dough, again greasing each one separately. Make a slit in the pie, brush the top with oil and bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for about one hour, until the crust becomes a nice golden colour. For the last 5 minutes place the baking dish directly on the oven floor to ensure that the base is properly cooked, but making sure it doesn’t burn.
P.S. If you don’t feel like fasting, you can add 300 gr of crumbled feta cheese to the filling, along with the whites of 3 eggs, lightly beaten.
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