Kalitsounia with dandelions, fennel and mint

Firstly, I have to apologise for the big delay between my posts – a hectic period of work travel hijacked my blogging time!!! But back to food… in my last post, I had discovered the delights of Cath and Hapi’s wonderful leafy greens and was keen to recreate the delicious pitas I had sampled, when last in Crete. 

When the time came to make my kalitsounia with Cath and Hapi’s beautiful produce, the weather conditions couldn’t have been more appropriate. It had been a blisteringly hot day in Sydney – reminiscent of the fierce Cretan sun and it was only safe to get near an oven once dusk had crept in. Even then I made sure that all of the kitchen windows were flung open to let in some cool breezes. A happy result of which was the salty, summery smells of the sea wafting into mingle with savoury aromas of the kalitsounia baking in the oven. To complete the picture I had to pour myself a glass of chilled rose (which always seemed to arrive on my table in Crete when I had ordered red wine, but it was always a welcome and refreshing variation) and crank up the volume on the old taverna favourites – Kokotas and Kazantzidis.

Harbor and twisting back lanes of Chania 

You can find kalitsounia all over Crete – and in Athens, with a variety of fillings. Often they are filled with cheese – the soft, slightly salty fresh mizithra (which is also very low fat – what a bonus!) or many kinds of local leafy greens.  I first tried these lovely little parcels in the Central market in Chania. The stall holder happily told me the history of how they came to be. They first stated as an Easter dessert (with a cheese and mint filling – served with honey) and were only prepared in family kitchens. Nowadays, the little pies are a common appetizer and can be found in a variety of markets and bakeries – no longer just the family kitchen.

Farlasana beach, Crete and beautiful fresh leafy greens and produce from Chania central market
 The kalitsounia I tried in Crete were most commonly fried – I have to say I prefer the baked version. After filling up the pastry with a bounty of really healthy ingredients it seemed appropriate to go with the lighter option of baking.  Essentially, you can experiment with any kind of filling - a mix of leafy greens with a little of the cheese would also be delicious. A combination of celery, onion and mint is next on my list!!! While the kalitsounia are delicious straight out of the oven – they are also really tasty the next day, and very transportable, I think they will become a regular staple in my summer picnic basket.


  1. Another stunning post, Mrs Mulberry! I am glad I found you.

  2. I'm beaming from ear to ear! What a charming story, reminding me of my days in Greece. And an equally delightfully tasty recipe...makes me want to fling my windows open and get baking right now. Thank you!


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