Tons of greens like sweet, earthy spinach leaves, herbs, tangy feta cheese encased in layers of homemade, crispy phyllo. Insanely delicious and unquestionably healthy, this vegetarian-friendly pie is going to be your new culinary achievement. Your people will beg you to make it for them again and again.
1 cup (30g)fresh Mediterranean hartwort or/and lovage (*1)chopped
7-8chard leaves or/and mint stalks removed, chopped
1 cup(7-8)whole spring onions or/and 2 leeks (only the white stalk)finely chopped
2large eggs or 3 smalllightly beaten
2 cups(300g)feta cheesecrumbled
¼ cup(50ml)olive oil
THE HOMEMADE PHYLLO DOUGH
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and salt and pour in the olive oil. Using a dough hook attachment, mix to combine the ingredients for 10-15 seconds. Add one cup of water (*2). If the dough is still crumbled, add a teaspoon of water and mix for one minute. Add a few more drops of water until the dough looks like an elastic ball. Then beat for about 5 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft and elastic. If it is not, beat for a few more minutes.
If you don’t have a mixer, mix with your hands and knead for about 10-15 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and cover. Set it aside to rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the filling if not already made.
When the dough is ready, sprinkle some semolina (or flour) (*3) and place the dough on a working surface. Divide it into 6 equal pieces. Start working each piece separately. First, use only your hands to make a small circle. Then repeat 3 basic steps: sprinkle some semolina (if the dough is too sticky), use the rolling pin to roll out gently by moving your hands from the center to the sides, and turn the dough (to make sure it won’t stick to the table). Repeat until you have the thinner round sheet possible.
Proceed with assembling the pie.
THE FILLING (*4)
FRESH SPINACH: If you use fresh spinach, rinse it thoroughly, then cut and discard the tougher ends of the stems. In a colander, massage the fresh spinach leaves with a good sprinkle of salt. RINSE WELL, drain and then gently squeeze out the excess water. Alternatively, blanch the spinach for 1 minute, drain and squeeze out excess water. Set it aside to cool.
In a colander, massage the fresh spinach leaves with a good sprinkle of salt. RINSE WELL, drain and then gently squeeze out the excess water. Alternatively, blanch the spinach for 1 minute, drain and squeeze out excess water. Set it aside to cool.
FROZEN SPINACH: If you use frozen spinach, place it in a colander and squeeze gently to dry the excess water out.
When the spinach is ready, place it in a large bowl, add olive oil and stir until all ingredients (spinach, herbs, eggs, feta cheese, and pepper) are well-combined.
ASSEMBLING THE PIE
Heat the oven to 200°C /390°F.
Homemade phyllo: Brush the bottom and sides of a 14 inch (38cm) round baking pan (*5) with olive oil, then line the first phyllo and brush it with olive oil. Repeat with the following 2 sheets by placing one on top of the other and brushing each sheet with olive oil. Don’t press down in the process and leave the excess phyllo overhanging the sides. Spoon in the filling and spread it evenly on top. Cover with the remaining 3 sheets always brushing each one. Roll up the overhanging phyllo neatly around the pan to make an edible rim. Score into 12-14 pieces or into any desired portion size. Brush the top with the remaining olive oil.
Ready-made dough: Use half phyllo for the bottom of the pie and the remaining phyllo at the top of the pie always brushing each phyllo sheet with olive oil. Roll up the overhanging phyllo neatly around the pan and score into pieces. Brush the top with the remaining olive oil.
Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown. Leave to cool slightly before serving.
If it’s difficult to find, skip it and substitute with more spinach or/and other herbs.
The amount of water depends on the flour, room temperature, and humidity.
Semolina is recommended because it can't be absorbed by the dough. If you use flour instead, try to add the least possible quantity otherwise, the phyllo might be too firm.
Make-ahead the filling, cover and refrigerate. Keep it in the fridge for 2 days or in the freezer for 1 month.
You may use all kinds of baking pans or dishes (square, rectangular). Attention to the corners because they may break the phyllo.