It's Tuesday, it's the fourth Day of Pi(e), and I'm back to savory pies. Today I'm bringing you a recipe from a cookbook that has received rave reviews and entered our collection recently when it won a 2013 James Beard award. This is an herb pie packed with swiss chard, cheese, and eggs in a flaky filo crust, and, as the name implies, with lots of herbs to remind us of Spring.
From Jerusalem: a cookbook (2012) By Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing the pastry
1 large onion, diced
1 lb Swiss chard, stems and leaves finely shredded but kept separate
3-4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 3/4 oz. green onion, chopped
1 3/4 oz arugula
1 oz flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 oz fresh mint, chopped
2/3 oz dill, chopped
4 oz anari or ricotta cheese, crumbled
3 1/2 oz aged cheddar cheese, grated
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large free-range eggs
1/3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
9 oz filo pastry
Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Pour the olive oil into a deep frying-pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 8 minutes without browning. Add the chard stems and the celery and continue cooking for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chard leaves, increase the heat to medium-high and stir as you cook for 4 minutes, until the leaves wilt. Add the scallion/green onion, arugula and herbs and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and transfer to a colander to cool.
Once the mixture is cool, squeeze out as much water as you can and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the three cheeses, lemon zest, eggs, salt, pepper and sugar and mix well.
Lay out a sheet of filo pastry and brush it with some olive oil. Cover with another sheet and continue in the same manner until you have 5 layers of filo brushed with oil, all covering an area large enough to line the sides and bottom of a 8 1/2-inch pie dish, plus extra to hang over the rim. Line the pie dish with the pastry, fill with the herb mix and fold the excess pastry over the edge of the filling, trimming the pastry as necessary to create a 3/4 inch border.
Make another set of 5 layers of filo brushed with oil and place them over the pie. Scrunch the pastry a little to create a wavy, uneven top and trim the edges so it just covers the pie. Brush generously with olive oil and bake for 40 minutes, or until the filo turns a nice golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.