Winter Greens Pie Recipe
As a teenager in Cincinnati, one of my favorite haunts was a Westside gyro joint called Sebastian’s. Run by a colorful gent named Alex and his winsome daughters, it was easy to wile away a couple of hours there swapping lies, drinking Cokes and snacking on fries and a classic Greek pastry called spanakopita. Made with layers and layers of filo (sometimes spelled phyllo) dough wrapped around a savory filling of spinach and cheese, spanakopita can be made into a pie or folded into appetizer-sized triangles. Although I have to admit the winsome daughters probably had something to do with our frequent visits to Sebastian’s, this traditional savory pie was worth the trip.
Our take on the Greek pastry opens up the playing field to include not just spinach, but a variety of winter greens found in the garden. Depending on what you’re growing, kale, Swiss chard, tatsoi and the traditional spinach all work well in this savory pie punctuated to perfection by a blend of onion, pine nuts, feta and ricotta cheese.
When building this garden fresh pie, make sure to thoroughly drain the cooked greens and baste each layer of filo with butter to get the firm and flaky structure that makes it so good.
Winter Greens Filo Pie
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 pounds winter greens (spinach, Swiss chard, kale, etc), roughly chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 pound ricotta cheese
- 1/2 pound feta cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 12 (9”x13”) sheets filo dough
- 1 cup butter, melted
In a large saucepan, saute onion, garlic and pine nuts in olive oil over medium heat until onion is soft and pine nuts begin to brown.
Stir in salt and pepper.
Add parsley, greens and lemon juice and continue to cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat to cool.
Once cooled, drain and stir in ricotta, feta and egg to fully combine.
Brush a 9”x13” baking pan with butter to lightly coat.
Place a layer of filo dough in the bottom of the pan and brush with melted butter.
Add a second layer of filo, brush with butter and continue until six layers have been placed and buttered.
Evenly spread greens oven filo in pan.
Cover greens with a sheet of filo and brush with butter.
Add additional layers of filo, coating each layer with butter, until six layers of filo top the pie.
Lightly score top of pie into squares to make it easier to cut once baked,
Bake in a 350 degree oven 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.