Thursday, January 7, 2016


This is for you, Roza! I was planning to cook seskoulopitta yesterday when I had a conversation with my teacher, Roza, about how much meat we ate (or didn't eat).  This conversation, as well as reading regular descriptions from Giannis Makridakis about morning gathering of greens, reminded me of a hortopitta that I used to cook years ago and inspired this recipe. I can't remember exactly what I cooked in that pie but maybe it didn't matter: just lots of greens. As it was a Lenten dish, the filling was only greens.

This time I decided to try a combination of the two dishes.  This meant I included the egg and cheese from the seskoulopitta but also a variety of greens. I am on purpose fairly vague about the measurements for the greens: just do what is good for you. You might like silverbeet with just a hint of endive, or to make it the other way around with a predominant endive flavour. It's your choice. Or add what you pick in your morning gathering of greens for the day, if you are a Makridakis follower. I used Sambal oelek as I like cooking with it, but you could just add some finely chopped hot chilli instead. Maybe half a chilli? Or depending on your taste.

For all I know, Greek women have been cooking something like this for centuries. Nothing is new. But it was what I felt like cooking and eating yesterday and it was inspired by that conversation with Roza.


1/2 bunch of silverbeet
1 bunch of young endive
1 bunch dill
3 spring onions
375 gr ricotta
200gr fetta
1 egg
1/2 tsp Sambal oelek
3 garlic cloves
Phyllo pastry
Olive oil
Black sesame seeds


Preheat the oven to 180c
Roughly chop the silverbeet, discarding the thick stalks
Roughly chop the endive, discarding the base of the bunch.
Chopp the dill roughly, discarding thick stalks
Clean and slice the spring onions
Place the vegetables in a steamer
Peel and crush the garlic and add
Add Sambal oelek
Steam on the stovetop until soft, stirring occasionally
Meanwhile place the ricotta in a bowl
Crumble the fetta by hand on top
Add the egg and stir to combine
When the vegetables are cooked, add to the mixture and combine well
Using a pastry brush and olive oil line the bottom of a baking dish with about six layers of phyllo, taking care to oil well between each layer
Add the cheese and vegetable mixture to the phyllo
Fold the phyllo over the mixture and cover with several layers of phyllo brushing with oil between each layer
Fold in the edges and oil the top layer
Sprinkle with black sesame seeds
With a sharp knife cut the top of the pie into desired portions. DO NOT cut through the bottom of the pie
Cook for 45 minutes in 180c oven until top is crisp and golden
Leave to rest for 2-3 minutes after cooking
Then with a sharp knife cut the portions through to the bottom of the pie.


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