You can call it Hortopita, or Spanakopita, or wild greens pie, or spinach pie… basically it’s the perfect way to use all those wonderful nutritious dark leafy greens that might be wilting in the fridge. I used a mix of different fresh herbs and kale and spinach and some wild greens but you could also add leeks or any kind of bitter green.
The challenge here will be with the quantities because you may not have exactly the same baking dish I used, which was an oval shape measuring 40cm long. However, you could always make two, as you can freeze it once assembled before cooking. You could also just halve the ingredients (add two eggs) although I would suggest keeping the dough quantities the same if you don’t feel confident in rolling out sheets that are very thin.
500 grams plain flour
1.5 teaspoons fine sea salt
100 ml olive oil
4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
200-250 ml warm water
*extra olive oil for lubricating pastry sheets
*butter for melting on top if desired
200 grams fresh herbs (wild fennel leaves, dill, oregano, mint, rosemary, marjoram, parsley, sage)
400 grams kale/silverbeet
500-600 grams baby spinach leaves
zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
1.5 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano (or dill)
60 ml olive oil
500 grams ricotta
600 grams feta cheese
1 medium red onion (150grams)
- Start with the pastry by mixing flour, salt, olive oil and vinegar with your hands until it resembles rough breadcrumbs.
- Gradually add warm water, working the dough into a ball after each drizzle. You may not need all the water so just stop when it’s come together in a rough ball. It doesn’t need to be smooth. Leave covered for 1-2 hours.
- Now rinse and chop herbs, kale and spinach.
- You could just mix the following ingredients in your biggest mixing pot that you intend to stir all the filling in. During the video, I just used a secondary shallow bowl so that you could see the ingredients well on camera. Beat lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, dried herbs, eggs, ricotta and olive oil.
- Finely chop onion and fry gently in a pan with some olive oil until soft.
- Now combine onion with the egg ricotta mixture and all the greens and fresh herbs.
- Crumble in the feta cheese and mix gently.
- Preheat your oven to 180 C or 350 F. Oil your baking pan.
- Cut resting dough into six parts and roll each sheet as thin as you possibly can.
- Drape three sheets over the bottom, leaving the edges overhanging to you can join them to the top afterwards. Remember to oil the pastry between each layer and on top.
- Fill the pie with the greens and layer the last three pastry layers on top, curling and folding the edges as in the video.
- Pop into a ventilated oven for an hour and a half. If your pie is not as thick as mine, you may not need so long. At one hour, you could take it out and pour a little melted butter over the top to make it extra golden.
- Once any kind of spinach pie is fresh out of the oven, it mustn’t be cut and served straight away or you will probably find it will fall apart. Let it cool and settle and firm up and then you can slice into perfect pieces. Sometimes I serve this with a simple side salad of chopped cherry tomatoes with a little balsamic, olive oil, sea salt and kalamata olives. ENJOY! It’s so delicious the next day. I tend to just keep it in the (turned off) oven overnight so that it’s airtight but not drying out the pastry in the fridge.