22 Sep Ricotta, Herb, and Greens Filo Pie
Ricotta, Herb, and Greens Filo Pie
22 September 2023
PREP. TIME: 20 min - Cook Time: 30 mins - Serves: 4 - 6
This delicious filo pie is my take on Spanakopita. The flavoursome mixture of seasonal greens and herbs bound in fresh ricotta and eggs and encased in the crisp, golden layers of filo pastry, is the perfect crowd pleaser.
Use a mixture of wild or cultivated, seasonal greens and herbs. I recommend any of the following - Rainbow chard, silverbeet, dandelion, beetroot tops, stinging nettles, thistles or chicory. Mint, dill, parsley and spring onions make gorgeous additions.
You only need about 500 g of leaves and a small bunch of herbs so be ruthless and use only the very best leaves and parts of the stems.
You can of course cook extra and set it aside as Horta to be served with another meal.
Extra virgin olive oil
Approx 500g of trimmed leaves - you can use stalks and leaves
1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan or Grano Padano cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
Leaves from a small bunch of dill - finely chopped
Some sprigs of freshly picked mint - leaves only
Black pepper and salt
1 small red onion or shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 small dried red chilli - crumbled
1 x 500g packet of fresh filo pastry.
Chopping board and kitchen knife
Mixing bowl and whisk or fork
Shallow baking or pie dish approx 24 x 30 x 3-4cm.
Heavy wide fry pan
Step 1 Prep
Preheat the oven to 180C
Bring the ricotta to room temperature.
Wash the greens well and drain in a colander.
Strip the leaves from the broader stalks and put to one side.
Dice the stalks finely.
Roll the leaves to form a fat cigar and cut into thin ribbons (chiffonade).
Prepare the rest of the ingredients in accordance of the instructions in the ingredients list.
Step 2 Prepare the Mixture
In the bowl, mix the ricotta with the eggs, finely grated cheese, lemon zest, chopped herbs, nutmeg, pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Mix well and set aside.
Step 3 Cook
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the base of the pan with the olive oil and place the pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté with a teaspoon of salt, add the garlic and stir well cooking until the onion is translucent. Do not let the pan get too hot, you do not want the onion and garlic to colour.
Add any chopped stalks with the chilli. Saute for a few minutes until tender (approx 3 minutes) - stirring constantly.
Add the leaves and stir well into the mixture for a few more minutes or until collapsing and tender.
Drain this mixture in a colander over a sink or large bowl and allow to cool.
When the greens are cool, gently squeeze any excess liquid from them and stir into the egg mixture until well combined.
Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Step 4 Assembly
Remove the filo from its packaging and gently unwrap it - dont worry if it rips a bit - it is actually very forgiving. If you cant work quickly, cover the filo pastry with a tea towel while you prepare the individual sheets.
Remove one sheet of filo onto the work top and place the baking dish close by.
Brush the filo sheet with olive oil or use your hands to smear the oil on - not too much.
Place another piece of filo on top and do the same with the olive oil.
Gently lift the pastry up and place it in the bottom of the baking dish.. Allow the pastry to hang over the edge - you can trim this later.
Repeat until you have 6 sheets of greased pastry on the bottom of the dish.
Spoon the cool greens and egg mixture into the pie dish.
Level it off and top the pie with another 6 sheets of filo pastry - prepared the same way as the base.
Trim to fit the outer edges of the baking dish - using a pair of kitchen scissors.
When the pie is finished, take a sharp, pointed knife and score the top of the pie diagonally to create a diamond pattern - taking care not to pierce right through the pastry.
Step 5 Bake
Place the pie dish in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes minutes or until the top of the pie is crisp and golden and the sides, crunchy and browned.
Step 6 To Serve
Allow to rest for 10 minutes and serve hot or at room temperature with a Greek Salad.
Recipe by Jo Jo Tulloch, The Modern Peasant.
Adapted by Elizabeth Peddey
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