Make this simple crispy Greek-style pie in less than an hour


Guest post by Danikat

easy vegetarian Greek-style pie

I love this Greek-style pie recipe because it's quick (less than an hour in total), easy, relatively mess-free, and easy to scale up or down for different numbers of people. It's also easy to modify based on preference — for example you could throw in some meat or fish, or make it vegan by substituting the egg. It also keeps for a few days in the fridge, (and it should be okay to freeze, but I've never tried).

This past Pi Day fells on a week night, and I'm absolutely not a fan of coming home from work and spending ages in the kitchen. And I have a mind like a sieve so planning ahead is out of the question. But I wanted to make something to celebrate.

Pie1

Luckily I discovered one variation of this recipe a few years ago, and, after some tweaks resulting from equal parts experimentation and combining existing recipes, it's become my go-to mid-week pie, and I made it last week in a flash.

So now I bring you simple crispy Greek style pie!

Ingredients (for 4 people):

  • 200g spinach
  • 175g jar sun-dried tomatoes
  • 175g jar olives
  • 100g feta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • approximately 6 sheets (less than 1 pack) of ready made filo pastry

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 160oc.

2. Put the spinach in a colander and pour boiling water over it so it wilts. (If you don't have a colander use a saucepan or any other heat-proof, water-proof container, and pour the water out immediately.)

3. Chop the tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese into smaller pieces. Size and shape doesn't matter (you get no points for presentation on the inside of a pie), but the general idea is to have some of each in every mouthful.

4. Tip them into a bowl with the spinach, break both eggs into the bowl, and mix it all together.

5. Grease a pie dish (or high sided baking tray) with oil (the oil from the tomato jar works well) and lay a sheet of filo pastry inside so about 1/3 hangs over the edge. Brush it with a little oil and add another sheet hanging over another side. Keep going until the bottom is completely covered and there is pastry hanging out all around the dish.

(For the uninitiated filo pastry sheets are very thin and feel and move a bit like fabric. You can tear it, especially if you hold it up for any length of time but you can be rougher than you might expect and in this case it doesn't matter if a sheet has a hole in it, or even if it's torn in half, as long as the pieces are big enough to use.)

6. Pour the filling into the middle and make sure it's spread evenly.

piPie2

7. Fold the sides of the pastry over the top so they meet in the middle (if necessary put another sheet on top). Don't worry about making them flat or neat, in fact if you scrunch them up a bit it will make a nice crinkled effect when it comes out the oven.

8. Place in the oven for about 30 minutes (until the pastry on top is brown and the raised edges are slightly darker).

9. Slice, serve, and eat!

easy vegetarian Greek-style pie

  1. Yum, am a big fan of filo and especially this kind of pie. However I’d like to say I’m not sure this would freeze well.

    All pastry needs to be as dry as possible to get crispy and filo is so delicate it gets a protective waterproof coating of butter or oil. In general if freezing pastry dishes it’s better to assemble and freeze uncooked and then cook from frozen without thawing (just add extra time and check the middle before serving). If you freeze but then thaw the dish out before cooking you risk that the pastry just becoming a soggy mess due the liquid which always escapes things as they thaw (especially things containing spinach!). You can’t defrost it in a microwave either as this will again just make it soggy. If you freeze this already cooked it may well brown too much in the extra time needed to cook it from frozen but watch it like a hawk and you might get away with it!

    However this is such a lightening quick dish it’s may well take less time (although use more of yours) to make from scratch! It will be even quicker if you use frozen chopped spinach which defrosts in the microwave in seconds which, fantastically, wilts it at the same time. You can also squeeze more liquid out and get it drier which helps with the crispness here.

    • Oooh I forgot to say, if you separate the eggs here and whip up the whites before gently folding back in you can give it the filling a kind of fluffy souffle texture. Poppy seeds on top is lovely too.

  2. I made something similar for pi day, using filo, but filling with black beans, cream cheese, corn, peas, and seasoned with hot sauce, garlic, and whatever else I had on hand. It was yummy.

    The pie is always better the next day and reheats really well in the toaster oven.

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