whole food ~ well made

A savory pie with greens and feta at

Deep Dish Savory Pie with Mixed Greens & Feta

April in the mountains doesn’t always mean spring. Ten years ago this week, my youngest daughter was nearly born in our driveway because my husband had to scrape snow from the windshield before we could leave for the hospital.

But even when April brings snowstorms, I’m craving anything and everything green. On the first sunny day, I steal to the garden to see what’s sprouting there.

Instead of volunteer spinach or kale, I find edible weeds: chickweed, dandelion greens, lambs quarters and the first nettles.

And that’s exactly what I love so much about this first-of-spring-tart. It may look and sound like spanikopita, but this is its wild cousin.

A savory pie with greens and feta at

In place of all spinach, the filling is a mix of greens–a lot of them. And the more variety, the better tasting this filling is. I love to gather early spring dandelion greens, which are only pleasingly bitter at this time of year.

I’ll prowl the edges of my friend Beth’s commercial garden and greenhouses to see what other weeds I can gather, then I supplement with chard, spinach, kale, arugula–and collect any lettuces in my fridge threatening to wilt. I also huge a mass of parsley, an uncelebrated and devout herb.

The exact type of greens and the combinations doesn’t matter, but the quantity does. This is a deep dish savory pie! So, you’ll want about three pounds fresh greens total.

A savory pie with greens and feta at

Conversions from fresh to cooked and from pounds to cups I researched online only confused me. So, I did my own conversion.

Four cups packed (about 8 ounces) greens yielded one cup of cooked greens, blanched and squeezed dry.

For this amount of greens I find blanching much more manageable than sauteing them. {And, if you’re using nettles, the hot water also inoculates their sting.}

In about 4 batches, I had 8 cups of cooked greens draining in the colander. I used a big spoon to press them down and squeeze as much of the liquid as I could from them.

A savory pie with greens and feta at

In a big mixing bowl, I seasoned them to taste with salt and pepper before adding the eggs. Then piled it into the phyllo crust, layered on the rest of the phyllo and scored it with a razor blade, like baklava.

Baked to a deep golden brown, this savory pie known as hortopita is a wonderful brunch dish for a crowd or a side dish for something on the grill. That is, if the sun peaks out and inspires you to cook outside.

No matter the weather, this savory pie is the taste of spring for me. And it makes lots to share. So invite some friends over and celebrate today.

Inspired try this recipe? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.


and become a forager

A savory pie with greens and feta at
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5 from 1 vote

Deep Dish Savory Pie with Mixed Greens and Feta

This recipe is adapted from Starting with Ingredients: Baking by Aliza Green. I love to make it in a 12-inch cake pan, but you can also make this in a 13 x 9-inch rectangular pan. It's most crispy when freshly baked, but you can also bake this savory pie in advance and reheat it for serving.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Lynne Curry


  • 8 cups cooked mixed greens, such as chard, kale, spinach, lettuce, arugula, sorrel or wild greens, including dandelion greens, lambs quarters, mustard greens or nettles
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives, mint or dill
  • sea salt
  • 3 large eggs, beaten pastured
  • black pepper
  • 12 ounces crumbled feta
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces (1 sleeve) frozen phyllo, defrosted


  • Squeeze the cooked mixed greens dry in a colander and transfer to a mixing bowl. Toss with the scallions, parsley,chives and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Blend in the eggs and feta.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the melted butter and oil in a measuring cup and have a pastry brush on hand.
  • Brush the baking pan (either a 12-inch cake round or 13 x 9-inch rectangular baking dish) generously with the  butter-oil mixture. Layer the dish with 8 sheets of phyllo, brushing each one lightly with butter, and fanning them out so that they cover the sides of the dish and overlap it by a couple of inches, like a pie crust.
  • Mound the greens mixture into the crust and lightly pat into an even layer. Arrange another overlapping stack of 8 phyllo layers on top, again brushing each one with the butter-oil. Roll up tightly the overhanging edges of phyllo and brush the top and edges with all of the remaining butter-oil. Use a single-edged razor blade or razor-sharp paring knife to score the top in a diamond pattern.
  • Bake the pie until deeply golden brown and very crisp, about 1 hour. Let stand for about 15 minutes before serving.


Defrost the phyllo dough still wrapped in the package at room temperature for about 2 hours or until pliable.
While working with phyllo, always keep unused sheets covered with plastic wrap to keep them pliable and avoid becoming brittle.


  1. Amy Brown

    Wow! This is gorgeous. I need to try it. Let me know if you need a bushel of fava greens from my garden.

    1. Never had those! Would love them. Are you coming for a visit :)?

  2. 5 stars
    wow this recipe is really awesome today i am going to try them and thanks to you for sharing this recipe

  3. Awesome recipe. Thanks for sharing!!

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