Hortopeta

This dish is like spanakopita, but made with other types of greens. You can really use anything: spinach, chard or even kale. Mix it up! It’s a great way to use up a bumper crop of any dark greens you have in your garden. If the phyllo seems intimidating, keep playing with it. If it tears, it’s easy to piece back together and no one will be the wiser. Click here for the article and other Greek recipes.

Makes 6–8 servings

3 pounds fresh greens, washed

1 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, mashed

Salt and pepper

1 pound feta cheese

3 large eggs

2 sticks butter

1 package phyllo dough

Remove any tough stems or stalks from your greens and roughly chop. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and add the garlic and greens. Stir frequently until cooked through and all moisture evaporates. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, crumble the feta cheese and stir in the eggs. Add the greens and stir to combine. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Unroll the phyllo dough and lay flat. Cover with damp (not wet) paper towels.

Butter a 9- by 11-inch baking dish. Then—carefully, so that it doesn’t tear—put a layer of phyllo into the buttered baking dish. Gently brush butter onto the phyllo, then lay another piece of phyllo on top. Keep covering the remaining phyllo with the damp paper towels if you don’t work quickly—this will keep them from drying out. Repeat until you have about 8 layers in the pan for your base.

Sprinkle about a third of the greens mixture on top of the phyllo. Don’t cover the whole thing, but distribute it evenly. Cover with another sheet of phyllo, and repeat your butter and phyllo layering until you have 4 layers of phyllo. Sprinkle another layer of greens, and repeat with 4 sheets of phyllo and butter. Do one more layer of greens and cover with the remaining butter and phyllo layering.

You will end up with 1 base layer of 8 phyllo sheets, 3 filling layers of greens and 3 middle layers of 4 phyllo sheets. I love a thick crispy top, so this is why I do it this way, but you can definitely add more layers in between if you like.

Bake at 375° for 1 hour, until beautifully browned on top, then cut into square sections and serve. This freezes beautifully.


Laura Booras is the general manager at Riverbench Vineyard & Winery in the Santa Maria Valley. She lives on the vineyard, where she regularly hosts food writers, celebrity chefs and wine critics for unique meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients.

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Summer 2018

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