Calliope's Real Greek Food

cooking & stories in my Brooklyn kitchen

Paschalia’s spinach & wild greens pie



There are so many phylo dough recipes in Greece and especially in Macedonia! The shepherds that inhabited the northern part of the country needed food that could travel well, since they lived like nomads. That is the reason why Macedonia & the Balkans make pies in so many variations (meat, leak & feta cheese, spinach & shallots fillings etc.).

This recipe is the original Macedonian one from Serres, and I got it from my friend Athena’s mum, Paschalia, who makes delicious pies. It is simple to make with easy to find ingredients and can be used as a basis for improvisation.

‘Hortopita’ is filled with spinach, wild greens and feta cheese; the epitome of the Greek spring pie!


Preparation Method

1.     Mix 4 cups of flour and salt in a large bowl and make a small hole in the center

2.     Add the water, oil & vinegar in the hole and start mixing with a fork. Work for about 10 minutes, adding more flour if necessary. Knead in the bowl or a floured surface until most of the stickiness is gone

3.     The dough must be soft, elastic and smooth. Cover and let it rest for 1 hour

4.     Wash the greens thoroughly and cut them in chunks; then, steam them for no more than 5 minutes. Strain the greens well and mix them with the remaining filling ingredients

5.     Preheat the oven to 450F

6.     Grease a large pizza pan with olive oil. Cut the dough in 3 or 4. Stretch and roll one part into a thin circle and place on pan. Rub it with some olive oil and scatter some of the filling on the phylo. Roll and stretch another thin part of the dough into a circle and place it on top of the filling adding more olive oil. Repeat with more filling. Finally, add the last part on top and fold the bottom edge over the top edges and pinch to seal

7.     Brush with oil, scar the dough before you put it in the oven and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 45 minutes until browned

Ingredients for the phylo dough

-       4 – 4.5 cups all purpose flour (you may need additional)

-       1 tsp. salt

-       1 – 1.5 cup warm water

-       1 cup extra virgin olive oil

-       2 tbsp. vinegar

-       sesame seeds (optional, for topping)


Ingredients for the filling

-       2 – 3 pounds of spinach and wild greens (collard, dandelion, kale..)

-       1 bunch scallions

-       1 pound feta cheese, crumbled

-       ½ cup boiled quinoa

-       freshly ground pepper

-       salt

-       1 egg (optional)

-       ½ cup extra virgin olive oil








Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6 – 8