Greek Leek and Greens Pie

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky to attend the annual Big Fat Greek Party at the home of fellow blogger Hank Shaw and his partner Holly Heyser. They requested side dishes to go with roasted goat, so I knew I needed to take my Greek Leek and Greens Pie. I developed it several years ago for my cookbook. It’s based on a traditional Greek dish called hortopita rollo or skopelitiki. That version is wrapped in phyllo and coiled into a snail shape. This is an easier version–but just as delicious!

We hear again and again how good dark, leafy greens are for us. But unless you’re a Southerner, you probably don’t eat a lot of them. You can use frozen puff pastry instead here, which is much easier to handle. Just make sure to thaw it for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator before you need it. You can assemble this ahead of time and keep it covered and refrigerated for up to a day or two until you want to bake it.

Greek Leek and Greens Pie

From Hands-Off Cooking: Low-Supervision, High-Flavor Meals for Busy People, by Ann Martin Rolke

Hands Off: 35 minutes

Serves 6

5 to 6 cups chopped fresh greens or 1 pound frozen chopped greens, such as spinach or chard

1 2/3 cups (8 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

1 large leek, halved, well rinsed, and thinly sliced

1 cup diced onion

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup currants or raisins

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 to 5 sheets phyllo dough or 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a 17.3-ounce box), thawed in the refrigerator

1/4 cup butter, melted (if using phyllo)

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Rinse the fresh greens and trim off the large stems. Cut the leaves crosswise into 1-inch strips. Don’t dry them, but leave a bit of water on the leaves.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the greens, feta, leek, onion, parsley, currants, fennel seed, salt, and pepper. Spoon them into a 9 x 12-inch casserole and smooth the top.

3. To use phyllo, unfold the pastry sheets and brush the top surface of 1 sheet liberally with butter. Flip it onto the casserole (butter side down). Brush the top of the sheet with butter. Lay a 2nd sheet of phyllo on top of the 1st one and brush with butter. Continue with the remaining sheets, tucking in any excess dough at the edges. Brush the top layer well with butter. OR, if using the puff pastry, unfold the pastry and cut it along the fold lines. Stretch the strips slightly lengthwise to fit the pan and then lay them on top of the greens, overlapping them slightly.

4. Bake the pie for 45 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and brown. Cut the pie into 6 (or more) pieces and serve immediately.

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