Friday, July 30, 2010
If I were a big fat liar, I would tell you that this dish came to me through my Greek relatives, of which I have bona fide several by marriage through my aunt Katee, and they are to a one outstanding cooks. However, I pretty much totally made this up.
Hortopita deconstructed means "garden pie," and that is what this is. It's like spanakopita, but made with whatever green things you might happen to have around. In this case, I used broccoli rabe from the grocery store, as well as beet greens from my parents' garden. My dad loves beet greens, and with good reason--they're pretty, delicious, and attract almost no pests--and so he plants beet seeds throughout the spring and summer so he'll always have as much as he needs (or more, which is how I got these ones).
This recipe isn't a recipe, but rather a guideline. Stuff a large dutch oven with washed greens, cover, and cook until softened:
Cool the greens under cold water and squeeze out as much of the moisture as you can. Chop fine and set aside.
Now for the next step I made a half batch of Faux feta from American Vegan Kitchen:
If you don't own American Vegan Kitchen, you should go out and buy it, but failing that, crumble up about 6 oz. tofu, and add lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and a little olive oil.
Add fried onions, green onions, garlic, dill, parsley, salt, pepper, a dash of nutmeg, and/or anything else that suits your fancy until you achieve a taste you like: this is your filling.
Meanwhile, you've been thawing out a package of phyllo dough. Cut the dough into the shape of the pan you plan to cook the hortopita in (just up-end the pan over the phyllo and cut around it). Brush the bottom and sides of the pan with olive oil and lay on a sheet of phyllo. Brush this sheet lightly with olive oil and add another layer. Keep it up until you have a bottom of 7 layers of phyllo. Add half the filling and press down lightly:
Lay on another sheet of phyllo, brush with olive oil, and add one more sheet. Now spoon on the rest of the filling, and top with the remaining sheets of phyllo, brushing olive oil in between.
Tuck the top layers of phyllo dough under so that a nice pie forms in the pan:
Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes to half an hour, until golden brown:
Let cool for at least 10 minutes before eating. This pie, like spanakopita, tastes best just warm or at room temperature.
Served here with a dish of pasta and zucchini and gigondes (giant lima beans or butter beans), which shall be the subject of another post, because I just love giant lima beans...