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Thea Lambert

A little romance, a few laughs. It's all good.

Mouthwatering Recipes...

Yummy Savory Pies

I love spinach. Popeye’s got nothing on me. Spinach gratin, hot spinach dip, cold spinach dip, Chicken Florentine (which features spinach), I love them all. One of my favorite dishes is called Spanakopita, a Greek “pie” of a spinach and cheese mixture baked inside thin sheets of dough called phyllo.

Although I love it, I wondered if there were any other savory Greek “pies” and started to

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investigate and experiment. I offer you two that are delicious and different to the ordinary spinach pie. I hope you enjoy.

Prasopita—Leek Pie (makes six servings)

Some might think using leeks would be an odd choice for a vegetable pie. But when they’re sautéed, the flavors caramelize, lending a sweet, mellow flavor.

3 large leeks  (use the white to the light green part of the vegetable)

4 scallions (green onions)

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

¾  cup feta cheese, crumbled

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

¼ tsp granulated garlic

¼ tsp allspice

1 beaten egg

½ cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill

3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

Salt and pepper to taste

12 Phyllo dough sheets

Olive oil or melted butter

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Thinly slice the leeks and scallions. In a large sauté pan, pour three tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the leeks and scallions to the pan and lower the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (about ten minutes). Remove from heat and let cool.

Place the cooled mixture into a large mixing bowl. To it, add the cream cheese, the feta and parmesan cheeses, the beaten egg, garlic, allspice, and herbs. Add fresh ground pepper and salt to taste. Mix well.

Brush olive oil or melted butter an 8” x 11” pan and place a phyllo sheet atop it. Then lightlybrush butter or oil that sheet (it should notbe soggy) and place another phyllo sheet on top. Continue to oil or butter the top of each phyllo sheet as you place one atop the other until you have six sheets in the pan.

Spread the mixture over the phyllo and then place the other six sheets of phyllo on top, remembering to lightly oil or butter the top of each sheet. Bake the pie until the phyllo is golden brown, about 50 minutes.

 

Kolokithopita—Zucchini pie (serves 6)

This recipe is a variation of Prasopita using zucchini (always plentiful in the summer) instead of leeks.

6 Zucchini

4 scallions (green onions)

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

¾  cup feta cheese, crumbled

¼ cup parmesan cheese

¼ tsp granulated garlic

¼ tsp allspice

1 beaten egg

½ cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill

3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

Salt and pepper to taste

12 Phyllo dough sheets

Olive oil or melted butter

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a box grater or a food processor, shred the zucchini and place in a colander. Sprinkle a little salt over the zucchini and let it sit for an hour in order to release its liquid. After an hour, place the zucchini in a dish towel and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. You will find that you will squeeze out a lot of water.

In a large sauté pan, pour three tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, place the scallions into the pan and lower the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.  Then add the grated zucchini and cook for another five minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool.

Place the cooled mixture into a large mixing bowl. To it, add the cream cheese, the feta and parmesan cheeses, the beaten egg, garlic, allspice, and herbs. Add fresh ground pepper and salt to taste. Mix well.

Brush olive oil or melted butter an 8” x 11” pan and place a phyllo sheet atop it. Then lightlybrush butter or oil that sheet (it should notbe soggy) and place another phyllo sheet on top. Continue to oil or butter the top of each phyllo sheet as you place one atop the other until you have six sheets in the pan.

Spread the  mixture over the phyllo and then place the other six sheets of phyllo on top, remembering to lightly oil or butter the top of each sheet. Bake the pie until the phyllo is golden brown, about 50 minutes.

 

Notes:

Both “pies” can be eaten as a main dish or can be cut into small triangles as an hors d’oeuvre.

Use only the white and light green parts of the leeks. The darker greens are quite tough but can be used in soups.

Look for feta in a brine, which keeps the cheese moist and flavorful, rather than already crumbled feta which is quite dry.

Also, feta is quite salty, so you may want to be judicious in the amount of salt you add. Also, look for Greek feta which is less salty than Danish or French feta.