A few weeks ago, I posted a recipe for one my favourite Greek dishes, Hortopita (χορτόπιτα) or wild greens pie. In that recipe I used some store bought phyllo and I promised a follow up recipe for homemade pastry. I am still to get a lesson from my lovely mother in law - but in the interim, I have a recipe to share from my travels in Kefalonia.
Last year we stayed in Kefalonia for a couple of weeks in a little village near Klismata Beach. While staying there, thanks to Mr K's beautifully fluent Greek, we befriended Stavros and Anna who owned a small taverna and supermarket nearby our villa. This is Anna's recipe for hortopita, which I recently found in my travel notebook. I love keeping a travel notebook, the one from this trip to Greece was packed with watercolour and gouache sketches, recipes, business cards - as well as lots of labels from new season olive oil and wine.
Anna's recipe is completely vegetarian and does not use any cheese, so it is perfect for fasting. It makes a very aromatic pastry and the texture is very light and crumbly. The texture reminds me a little of my Nana's famous apple pie pastry. Mr K enjoyed Anna's pastry, but his mum's silky olive oil rich pastry is still his favourite. So watch this space...there'll be another hortopita recipe soon, especially while our garden is overflowing with vibrant springtime greens.
Anna's Kefalonian Hortopita (χορτόπιτα)
1kg mixed wild greens (I used radiki, leeks, scallions, sorrel, dill and fennel tops)
1/2 cup Greek olive oil
1/2 cup Greek Carolina rice (parboiled 5 mins)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 kg plain flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup white wine, warmed
1/2 cup olive oil, warmed
For the pie:
1. Wash the greens well and leave them to completely drain (overnight is preferable, but a few hours will do).
2. preheat oven to 190C (I don't use a fan forced oven, so you may need to drop the temperature by 10C if you do).
3. Slice the drain greens finely and sprinkle with salt. Let them stand for an hour and then squeeze out any excess water. Mix the greens in a bowl with olive oil, rice and season well with salt and pepper.
4. To make the pastry:
sift together flour, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Pour in the warm oil. Rub the oil into the dry ingredients to make a sand/breadcrumb texture. Make a well in the centre and then pour in the warm wine. Mix well until you have a soft pliable dough. Add more wine if you need too. Roll out two very thin rounds/squares of pastry (they should fit comfortably in a 30cm baking pan).
5. Place one piece on the base of well oiled baking dish. Spread filling over and top with the other piece of pastry. Fold over surplus edges and make a few air slits. Brush with olive oil and bake for around 1 hour.
And tell me friends, do you keep and notebook when you travel and if you do, what is it filled with?