Janni Kyritsis’s Wild Weed Pie

Wild Weed Pie | brownpaperbelle.comWild Weed Pie | brownpaperbelle.com

Taken from Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion

1 teaspoon salt
1 kg mixed bitter greens (2 cups amaranth leaves, nettles, sorrel, silver beet and/or chicory)
150ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 red onions, finely sliced
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
dried Greek oregano, to taste
500g fresh ricotta
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
9 sheets filo pastry
1 cup oil, for brushing

I used a mixture of the greens in my garden: sorrel, silver beet, english spinach and chicory.  Next time, I will use a higher proportion of silver beet and spinach and less chicory as the bitterness of the chicory really came through more than I would have liked in the finished pie.  

1. Bring water and salt to the boil in a large saucepan.  Add amaranth leaves to pan, give a big stir with a wooden spoon and, as soon as the water has returned to the boil, scoop the leaves into a colander in the sink.
2. Rinse very briefly with cold water, squeeze hard in a clean tea towel and drop blanched leaves into the mixing bowl.
3. Place other greens in a sauté pan with the washing water still clinging to them, then cover and cook over medium heat until just wilted.  Drain and squeeze out excess liquid.  Coarsely chop, then add to bowl with amaranth.
4. Heat olive oil in the same pan and cook onion over low heat for 8-10 minutes or until soft.
5. Remove from heat and combine with greens, then add egg and oregano.
6. Gently fold in ricotta, season with salt and pepper, then cover and refrigerate.
7. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
8. Place 1 sheet of filo on a chopping board, then using a 26cm pizza tray as a guide, cut out a 26cm round.  Repeat with another 4 sheets of filo.  Cover rounds with a piece of foil lined with a slightly damp tea towel and set aside.
9. Line the pizza tray with a round of baking paper.  Brush one whole sheet of filo with oil and place widthways across the lined pizza tray.
10. Brush another whole sheet of filo with oil and place lengthways across the pizza tray to form a cross with the first sheet.  Brush a third whole sheet of filo with oil and place diagonally across the pizza tray, then brush another whole sheet of filo with oil and place it on the other diagonal.
11. Brush 2 of the filo rounds with oil and place in the centre of the tray.
12. Spread the filling across the filo round, right up to the edge of the tray.  Fold up the overhanging filo sheets, pleating it to cover and enclose the filling.
13.  Working one at a time, brush the remaining 3 filo rounds with oil, then place over the filling, allowing each one to crumple as it settles over the filling.  Brush any exposed filo with more oil.
14.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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