By Audrey van Petegem, Senior Editor
When Anne-Marie and I went to Rancho La Puerta to celebrate my 50th we had the opportunity to attend a cooking class at the Ranch’s La Cocina que Canta (The Kitchen That Sings) with famed chef Greg Patent. This hands-on cooking class started in the plentiful gardens of the Ranch where all the vegetables for the recipes were gathered.
Twenty guests prepared seven recipes together. Although all of them were amazing, my favorite was the Greek Greens Pie. It is similar to a spinach spanakopita but made with a variety of healthy greens in a typical pie pastry. Although the ingredients and stages look daunting, the preparation for this recipe is pretty simple. I have made the Greek Greens Pie on several occasions. I have taken this to a potluck party, made it for brunch with friends and plan on making it for my next bookclub. It is so versatile and, if there are leftovers, it is great the next day.
Greg Patent is a professional baker and I was a bit intimidated about making my own crust. He assured us that it is as easy as “dough (get it), rae, me”. Greg is right! It is easy and nothing compares to making your own (sorry Trader Joe’s).
Here is the recipe:
GREEK GREENS PIE
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 ts salt
8 tbls cold unsalted butter
8 tbls cold vegetable shortening (Earth Balance)
6 tbls ice water
1 1/2 ts cider vinegar
1 bunch black kale
1 bunch mustard greens
1 bunch chard
1 spinach (I use a bag of Trader Joe’s spinach and mixed greens of kale, chard and mustard greens. Any combination works)1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. plus more if needed
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
1 large leek, washed well, slice thin
1 cup sliced scallions
3/4 cup grated romano or parmesan cheese
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped flat – leaf parsley
1 large egg + 1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 large egg yolk + 1 teaspoon water
Put flours and salt in the food processor bowl. Pulse a few times to combine. Cut both fats into 1/ inch cubes and add. Pulse 4 times. Conbine ice water and cider vinegar in a 1 cup measure with a pouring spout. Start pulsing very rapidly as you gradually add the liquid through the feed tube. Pulse until dough forms large clumps but does not actually gather into a ball. Remove dough and place on lightly floured surface. Divide in two with one slightly larger than the other. Form each in a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate fro a least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Remove stems from the greens and wash well. Cut greens into largish pieces and keep each type separate. Add the kale to the pot and cover for 2 minutes. Add the chard and cook for another 2 minutes covered. Add the mustard greens and spinach and cover for 4 more minutes. Drain well and transfer greens to large bowl of cold water. Cool, drain and squeeze as much water as you can from the greens. Chop finely.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes, leeks and scallions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the chopped greens and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. If vegetables seem dry and are sticking to the pan, add small amounts of water as needed. Take pan off heat and cool completely. Add the cheeses, dill and parsley. Taste if salt is needed (I feel there is enough salt in the cheeses). Stir in the eggs.
Preheat oven to 450.
Roll the larger piece of dough on a lightly floored surface to a 13 inch circle and fit into a 9 inch ovenproof glass pie plate. Trim excess pastry so it has a 1/2 inch overhang. Roll second piece of dough to 12 inch circle. Fill pastry shell with the greens. Brush edge of pastry with ice water and cover with top crust. Trim to match the bottom crust and press to seal. Fold edge to make a rounded rim, flatten slightly, and scow with the back of a knife. Brush with egg you and make 4 slits in top of pie.
Bake for 20 minutes at 450 degrees. Reduce the temperature to 400 degrees and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until crust is nicely browned and pie is cooked through.
Cool for 10 minutes and cut into wedges. Serve with a salad and tzatziki sauce.
This Greek Green Pie is so incredibly delicious and even better when made in advance, it will become your go-to recipe for entertaining.