This spring has been a strange one, even for New Mexico. We’ve had summer heat, days of snow and hail, and weekly storms of rain and wind. Although that spells trouble for me on my bicycle commute, the garden has been loving all the moisture and is producing greens twice as fast as we can eat them. Here is an easy way to put extra chard, kale, lettuce, celery, spring onions or green garlic plus any fresh herbs to delicious use during this wildly productive time of year. This recipe is inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Herb Pie in his beautiful cookbook Jerusalem.
Lazy Savory Pie
Whatever you do, use what is freshly in season, and a lot of it. I always make two pies at a time to have during the week as lunch, to bring on a hike, or to enjoy as a quick breakfast.
- butter or preferred sauté oil
- 1 cup diced spring onion and green garlic (green and white parts), or yellow onion
- 1 cup diced celery (stalks and leaves)
- 8 cups of chopped greens mixture, consisting of two or more of the following: chard, kale, lettuce, beet greens, carrot tops and arugula
- 2 cups fresh herbs, finely chopped: 1 cup parsley, 1/2 cup mint, and 1/2 cup combined of two of the following: oregano, thyme, cilantro, dill or fennel
- zest of 1 lemon
- 8 oz. of feta [substituting white cheddar, ricotta, mozzarella or gruyere works great too]
- 6 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 sheets of filo pastry [puff pastry rolled thinly is a beautiful alternative]
- 3 tbsp olive oil or palm oil, for brushing onto the pastry
- Set the oven to preheat at 400F.
- In a large stock pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat and add the celery, onion and garlic, stirring occasionally until softened but still brightly colored, about 4 minutes.
- Add the chopped greens mixture and stir frequently while the greens begin to wilt down, about 3 minutes.
- Add the chopped herbs and cook until wilted, another 2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Take off the heat, and add the lemon zest, cheese and 2 eggs, stirring well.
- On a flat surface, layer 6 sheets of filo one by one, brushing the top of each sheet with oil before adding the next sheet. Work quickly before the filo dries out, and don’t get caught up with brushing the oil on too evenly or thoroughly–remember, this is a lazy pie. When I’m rushed, I will often use a small bottle to simply drizzle oil onto each layer and call it a day. Center the layered filo in your pie plate or baking dish, not worrying about the overhanging edges for now.
- Fill the filo with the sauté mix, and with the back of a spoon, create four little beds in the filling for the eggs to bake in. Crack the fresh eggs into the depressions, and fold the edges up and in, to cover the eggs and filling. Drizzle or brush the top with oil and bake for 45 minutes until a deep golden brown. Serve hot or at room temperature.