Monday, March 28, 2011

Green Pies

I am always searching for recipes for wild greens. In the process of doing this, I found some scientific articles about the health benefits of Cretan green pies, kaltsounia with greens and cheese. Search as I might, I could not find a recipe with this name. I did, however, find a number of Greek greens pies. The one I liked the look of best was this one from Banana Wonder (a blog.)

The health research indicates that these green pies, made from wild plants contain high levels of flavonoids, specifically quercitin. There is some very preliminary evidence that asthma, lung cancer and breast cancer are lower among people consuming higher dietary levels of quercetin. Anyway, I just love the way these taste.

Wild Greens Pie
adapted from Athens Plus

For the pastry:
4 cups self-rising flour
1 cup beer
8 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

For the filling:
6 cups cleaned greens such as spinach, white beet, nettle, shallots, parsley, dill or whatever else desired
1 tbsp white rice
4 tbsp olive oil plus a little to grease the pan

Wash the greens well and drain as well as possible.

Pastry: Knead all ingredients until a smooth dough is formed. Roll into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

Filling: Chop the greens finely, place in a large bowl, add the salt and knead well to reduce volume. Set aside and strain off excess liquid and then mix in rice and olive oil. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a pie dish (approximately 11 inch diameter). Divide dough into two pieces so that one piece is a third of the size of the other (the smaller will be used for pie topping). Take the large piece of dough and press it down with your hands on a floured surface until it is flat, then place in pie dish so it covers all sides. Spread the greens over the pastry. Roll out smaller piece of dough and place on top. Pierce the top 3 or 4 places and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the top is golden.

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