Learn to make an authentic Greek pie with wild greens and discover the well-kept secret of the humble spanakopita. Actually, uhhhh, it's not made with spinach only, sorry. Greeks have known for decades that the tastiest pita contains an array of greens such as endives, chicory, dandelions and silverbeet, to name only few, as well as fresh herbs. Follow Angela Nicolettou's recipe and give your palate a new experience with hortopita.
Hortopita strifti - wild greens & feta spiral pie
A selection of greens, chicory, dandelion, sow thistle, silverbeet, spinach, etc
6 spring onions
1 sml bunch of dill or fennel fronds, chopped
1 sml bunch of mint, chopped
1 tsp dried mint (optional)
300g feta cheese
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 batch of filo pastry
Heat oven to 180C and oil a 30cm shallow baking dish.
Wash and chop the greens and spin well using a salad spinner.
In a bowl add the crumbled feta cheese, the fresh herbs, dried mint (if using) the greens, the spring onion and half the olive oil and mix well. Season with salt and black pepper.
Cut the pastry into 6 pieces and shape each one into an oblong shape (approx. 10 x 20cm) making it as flat as you can, using your hands. Oil each piece and make into 2 piles of 3 (rest for 15 mins).
Roll each pile into a long piece of pastry to about 5mm thickness. Using your hands gently stretch the pastry working around each side until it is very thin and you can see through it. If needed, drizzle the pastry with olive oil to ensure it is remains soft and easy to stretch. The filo piece should now be about 70 x 100cm. Repeat with the other half of the pastry.
Take one filo sheet and brush it with olive oil and add filling along the length of its base. Roll this up to form a sausage shape about 5cm wide making sure you squeeze slightly to make it as tight as possible (don’t worry about little tears, they become air pockets and add crunch!). Place this in the baking dish starting in the middle and roll it around itself to form a spiral. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Add this to complete the spiral and fill the baking dish.
Brush with olive oil and with a sharp knife poke some air holes 5cm apart along the spiral. Wet your hands and sprinkle the top of the pie with water. Bake until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Tips for growing horta