Friday, October 26, 2007

Cookbook: Hortopita (Greens and Cheese Pie)

When fall begins its descent, and the days start to shorten, our garden is lush with greens; they flourish in Alaska's cool weather. Anticipating the snow that fell this week, we recently harvested the remaining greens and put the garden to bed for the winter.

Mixed GreensSwiss chard, spinach, beet greens, Italian chicory, and dandelions

Some greens (a mixture of cultivated dandelions and Italian chicories) I blanched and froze for winter use. Others I used to make Hortopita, which is similar to Spanakopita (Spinach Pie), but with a more complex flavor. Although Hortopita tastes bests when made with wild greens, and benefits from a combination of sweet and bitter greens, any mixture of wild or supermarket greens may be used. When combined with cheese and herbs in Hortopita, mixed greens make a magnificent meal.


Making Hortopita brings back happy memories of foraging for wild greens in Greek island vineyards, and sitting barefoot in the afternoon shade with my friends, cleaning our bounty while chatting about our lives and sharing village gossip.

The recipe for Hortopita is in Tastes Like Home: Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska.

Tastes Like Home:
can be ordered here.