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Traditional Greek pie with arugula, ricotta (anthotyros) and greens

Traditional Greek pie with arugula, ricotta (anthotyros) and greens

Photo and text by Panos Diotis and Mirella Kaloglou

Calories (per serving): 
650
Preparation Time: 
Cooking Time: 

 

A superb green pie (Greek Hortopita) that combines the tasty leafy greens and the unique flavour of Greek cheeses, wrapped in a crispy phyllo dough!

 

Ingredients: 

- 1 pack of phyllo dough (Greek pastry sheets / also known as fillo or fyllo), around 800gr/28oz/1.8lb
- 800gr/28oz/1.8lb spinach, rinsed and chopped
- 700gr/24.6oz/1.5lb endives (chicory leaves), rinsed and chopped
- 1 bunch parsley (around 100gr/3.5oz), finely chopped
- 1 bunch dill (around 100gr/3.5oz), finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch (50gr/1.7oz) fresh spearmint, finely chopped (or 4 tablespoons dried)
- 1 bunch (around 100gr/3.5oz) arugula (garden rocket / eruca), rinsed and chopped
- 4 spring onions, finely chopped
- 800gr/28oz/1.8lb feta cheese, crumbled
- 600gr/21oz/1.3lb anthotyros*, crumbled
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 250ml (1 cup) olive oil
- olive oil for brushing each phyllo sheet
- salt and pepper
- a pinch of nutmeg powder

* If you can't find the Greek anthotyros you can use ricotta 

 

Preparation: 1. All the greens must be cleaned (cut off the roots and discard any yellow leafs) and rinsed thoroughly in a large bowl (change the water at least 5 times). 2. The phyllo dough, if frozen, must be well thawed.

 

Pour some olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onions, the spinach, the endives and the arugula and saute.
Add the parsley, the dill and the spearmint. Stir well, add salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Be careful with the salt, because of the feta cheese that will follow.
Once the greens get soft and most of the water is evaporated, remove from heat and leave aside to cool.
Put the greens mix you prepared in a large bowl, adding the beaten eggs, the feta cheese, the anthotyros(or ricotta) and the cup of olive oil and stir using your hands in order to avoid breaking the cheese into very small bits. Make sure you keep some larger pieces in the mix.
Grease the interior of a large baking pan with olive oil and spread carefuly 5 sheets of phyllo, brushing each sheet with olive oil before adding the next one.
Put the sheets in a way that is leaving some of each sheet to fall off the sides of the pan.

Add the greens-cheese-eggs mix and continue with the next 5 sheets on top, repeating the brushing process.
Make some slits on the top layer with a non-serrated knife. Put the pan in the middle rack of the oven at 180 degrees Celsius/350 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes using hot air and bottom heat in order to bake the bottom layer crispy and then another 35-40 minutes using top and bottom heat (no air). When light brown, remove from the oven. Kali oreksi!

 

Tips: 

1. If the phyllo is not wide enough to cover the entire pan, then put the sheets in the following manner: start putting them horizontally covering the 3/4 of the pan (left or right) with one sheet and continue doing so with the next sheet covering the other side of the pan. Then, continue the same procedure vertically, until all the sides of the pan are covered with phyllo. The sheets will be placed one on top of the other where the meet, in a step-like manner. Grease with olive oil every phyllo sheet used. At the end roll the phyllo on the sides of the pan over the top layer. If the instructions are tough to follow feel free to comment, maybe we can help you out!
2. Slice the top of the pie into the twelve pieces before baking, so the filling inside is cooked well during baking.
3. It's better to wait a bit until serving, because the filling will be extremely hot.
4. Try to find the Greek cheese called 'Anthotyros', you won't regret it!  
5. You can have a couple of pieces the next day as breakfast (room temperature). 

 

Method: 
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