Recipe: Apollo's Wild Weed + Cheese Pie
It's usually this time of year where we are feeling inundated with friends' photos and stories of recent travels to Europe over the summer.
2020 has proved to be the opposite, and we are now seriously craving the beaches of the Amalfi Coast and islands of Greece, so we thought we would bring a little bit of Greek sunshine to your dining table.
Spinach Pie, or spanakopita as it is known in Greece, is an everyday staple that can be part of the mezze spread, eaten as a snack or as a main course, with some Greek salad of course!
Wild greens also are an important part of the Greek diet, particularly in the mountainous north. Frequently a spanakopita in Greece won’t have any spinach at all in it, but rather a collection of other greens such as nettles, sorrel, silverbeet etc.
Our friends at The Apollo in Sydney have kindly shared with us their delicious recipe for spanakopita or Wild Weed and Cheese pie, as it is named on their menu. The nettles in this dish work perfectly with our Sauvignon Blanc. We encourage you to crack open a bottle, throw a fresh Greek salad together and try the Apollo’s pita at home, over a relaxed Sunday lunch. You won’t regret it.
Wild Weed and Cheese Pie
1kg mixed bitter greens (such as nettles, sorrel, silver beet, chicory)
150ml extra virgin olive oil
2 medium red onions, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
Dried Greek oregano to taste
500g fresh ricotta
Salt to taste
1 cup olive oil, extra, for brushing
Plain flour for dusting
500g plain flour
225ml warm water
1 egg lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
To make the filo pastry, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until they come together to form a dough.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes or until smooth.
Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Wash greens and drain. With the water still clinging to them, place in a saucepan then cover and cook over medium heat until just wilted.
Drain in a colander and squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible.
Chop roughly and set aside in a bowl.
Heat 150ml of olive oil in the same saucepan and cook onions over a low heat for 8-10 minutes, until soft.
Remove from the heat and combine with greens, then add egg and oregano.
Gently stir in ricotta, season with salt and pepper, cover and refrigerate.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cut filo pastry dough in half and roll out one half on a lightly floured surface into a 60cm square. The pastry must be as thin as possible. Place a dinner plate over the pastry and cut a round from the centre of the pastry, then roll out and cut remaining pastry into 8 equal pieces and brush these with the extra virgin oil.
Place the 8 pieces of pastry on top of one another, top with the pastry round, dust generously with flour and roll out into a 40cm round, trimming the edges to neaten. Place this round on a 26cm pizza tray lined with baking paper. Repeat rolling, cutting and shaping with the remaining pastry half, trimming edges to make a neat 40cm round. Set aside.
Spread filling to edges of pizza tray, then fold excess pastry over filling, pleating sides as you go. Gently gather second sheet of rolled pastry with both hands and place on top of pie, allowing it to fall into folds. Brush with generous amounts of olive oil and bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.