Friday, June 24, 2011

Plato - Greek Greens Pie with Cornmeal Crust

Do you ever wonder what "Necessity, the Mother of Invention" looks like? I do. Sitting somewhere in a treehouse, built of odds and ends that people have thrown away, like a throne in the sky, she smiles graciously down on all of us who her thank her with wooden spoons held high as we discover wonderful food based on necessity. This dish is dedicated to her.

Last trip to the farmers market I scooped up loads of fun looking green things - savoy cabbage, dandelion greens and Russian kale - which have been languishing in my veggie bin waiting to be cooked. Thinking to use up some defrosted phyllo dough I pulled all the greens out. But alas, I waited too long on the phyllo and it had molded. But still wanting a greens pie Greek style I searched the web for another way to encase the greens. Voila, this post appeared and I knew it was a match made in heaven.

Super easy crust and no cook filling, based on a regional, little known Greek recipe? Music to my ears! It was quick and easy to make, and I was able to toss in some extra items that needed to be used up, not deviating too far from Elly's original recipe. Simple fare, but so delicious!

Plato - Greek Greens Pie with Cornmeal Crust (inspired by Elly Says Opa)

1 1/2 cups cornmeal, fine ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk, divided

3 cups spinach, chopped
1 cup savoy cabbage, shredded
2 cups dandelion greens, chopped
7 oz feta, crumbled
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon dried dill
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
black cracked pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine greens, feta, ricotta, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cracked pepper and herbs in a large mixing bowl and toss well with your hands and set aside. In a small mixing bowl or 2 cup measuring cup, combine cornmeal with 1/2 teaspoon salt and add 1/3 cup milk, stirring to combine. It should stick together like a pie crust but not look moist. In a baking pan (I used a 9 inch oval Corningware dish), smear 1 tablespoon of butter around the bottom and up the sides and add olive oil and smear around as well. Spoon in half of cornmeal crust mixture and pat into a crust, only on the bottom. Spoon all of the greens mixture onto the bottom crust, pressing down to pack it in and then drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over all and season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining 1/3 cup of milk to the remaining cornmeal mixture until it is almost a slurry - more liquid than solid but not so it pours. Glop it on top of the greens mixture and spread around evenly, making a crust to seal in the greens. Cut up remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and dot across the top of the crust. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until top is golden brown. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Bacon, Cheddar and Chives at Pinch My Salt
Escabech - Roasted Chicken, New Potatoes and Pickled Jalapenos at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice
Sundried Tomato No-Cook Sauce at The Italian Dish


Joanne said...

Oh I am so undeniably excited to try this! Cornmeal crust was really all you had to say!

Reeni said...

This is an incredible fusion of flavors Kirsten! I've never eaten dandelion greens. Thanks for stopping by and giving me your delicious idea! xoxo