Let me explain something before we get to this amazingly simple and delicious recipe. When Americans hear the word “pita” they think of a soft, pocket-like sandwich holder. But when Greeks hear the word “pita” they think of a phyllo encased, typically pizza sliced shaped, pie filled with spinach, cheese, and/or other greens and vegetables. I guess it could be more correctly translated as a cheese or vegetable pie made with phyllo. Either way it is a delight to have around the house and a great way to add some extra fiber and nutrition.
Unless it is strict fasting periods, I love my pitas with feta cheese. The combination of salty and creamy cheese bits melts in my mouth with the flavorful spinach, leek, onion mixtures.
I have only made my own phyllo once or twice since I have been living in Greece and it is so easily available. But as we transition back to the US and find it more difficult or maybe only frozen, I am sure to become the best homemade phyllo maker yet! I even hope to get in some good practice while staying with the in-laws, my mother in law uses a pasta machine to make thin and perfect phyllo for pitas. Maybe I can talk her into making a fasting pita over the next two weeks and share it with you! I really wish that my yiayia’s outdoor wood-burning oven worked – I think I would be be making pitas, pizzas, and breads all day long!
Leek Pie “Prasopita” Recipe: Printable RecipeHalf a package of phyllo*, I used whole wheat this time 1 large onion, chopped 2-3 T. olive oil, plus more for brushing on phyllo 2 medium leeks, cleaned and sliced 3-4 spring onions (scallions), chopped A handful of fresh dill or parsley*, chopped 150-250 g./ 1 – 1 1/2 cups feta cheese, crumbled 2 eggs salt and pepper * Keep phyllo sheets covered with a damp towel to keep fresh while outside of refrigerator. * I learned today that a handful of something in Greek is called a “houfta” , I thought that was so much more fun to say Saute the chopped onion in oil over medium heat until translucent, add the leeks and scallions and continue cooking until tender, about another 12-15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 180°/350° and remove your mixture from heat. Let cool 10 minutes and then add the dill, feta, and eggs, stirring well to incorporate everything evenly. Begin brushing each layer of phyllo with oil before you place into your pan (square, rectangle, or round). Place 4-5 sheets on the bottom, add the filling and repeat with another 4-5 sheets for the top layer. When using a circle pan, I layer in a criss-cross pattern to ensure better coverage. Cut into desired slices or squares and drizzle the top with some drops of water, this will keep your phyllo from puffing up too much and make it easier to remove once cooked. Bake 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool until almost room temperature and serve warm!!!
And if for some reason you can’t find or don’t like phyllo but love leeks or want to try something different these days, please try this also amazingly delicious Leek Pie without phyllo!