Monday, September 7, 2009
So, I finally broke down last night and moved the box of phyllo from my freezer down to my fridge to thaw overnight...I was going to make a pita (Greek pastry pie)! Since I had a bag of mixed "Euro Greens" (kale, spinach, swiss chard, beet greens, mustard greens, etc.), I decided to make a hortopita, or wild greens pie. I knew I didn't have a lot of cheese (about half a pack of feta), so I combined some recipes from The Greek Mama's Kitchen: Authentic Home-style Recipes - part of it was from a leek and swiss chard pie recipe, part from a kalitsounia recipe. I cooked up a semolina, milk, and egg mixture, added onions and garlic fried up with cumin, coriander, oregano, and sumac (I thought the extra moisture of lemon juice would be detrimental) and as much feta as I had. I wilted the greens and pressed some of the water out of them, then went to work with the phyllo.
I'll admit it, it was tricky. The top sheets were dry and brittle, as were the bottom ones, which meant they would tear where they had been folded, or stick together, but once I got to the middle of the stack it was easier. I had some salted butter in the back of the fridge so I melted some, brushed it on the phyllo and layered the sheets in a baking pan, turning it every few sheets at a time. I poured the semolina mixture in, topped that with the greens, covered that with the rest of the phyllo except for the last one. I folded the excess phyllo toward the centre, covered that with the last sheet, and tucked in the edges. I sprinkled the top with cold water and sesame seeds, threw it in the oven, and...behold!