Hi Everybody!! Hope your weekend is off to a great start! We are at Day 13! Today I want to introduce one of my favorite Mediterranean foods: savory vegetable pies. One of the best examples is the popular spanakopita; spinach, herbs and feta cheese all covered with crunchy phyllo.
These pies are a great (and delicious) way to get even more vegetables in your diet. The filling consists of vegetables and herbs along with some crumbled cheese. The “crust” is made with phyllo which is a paper-thin unleavened sheet of dough brushed with olive oil. And because the phyllo is so thin, it is an ideal crust for those watching their carb intake. Of course, you can make your own thicker phyllo that resembles a typical crust and I have a perfect and easy vegan olive oil crust like my grandmother used to make (see link below). The most popular pie is the spinach pie known as spanakopita. Others include wild greens pie, zucchini pie, leek pie, onion pie and more! These all have vegan versions where you can omit the egg and cheese.
They are easy to assemble and don’t worry about the phyllo, it is very forgiving! And if you follow my tips below you will have no problem with it. Once you put the pie in the oven, your house will smell delicious! These pies are portable and great to take with you for lunch. I’ll usually accompany them with a salad or cherry tomatoes, carrot and cucumber sticks for a complete meal. They are great for picnic, potlucks and a snack. And they freeze beautifully!
Tips for Making the Best Savory Pies
- Be careful with the ratio of filling and phyllo. I often see photos of spanakopita that has a real thick layer of filling, but when you are using the thin phyllo you have to make sure it can hold the filling. In addition, you want to make sure that every bite has the right amount of filling in relation to the phyllo, not too much and not too little.
- Make sure pie cools for at least 30-40 minuites before cutting through,otherwise the filling will come out.
- Do not expect pites (pies) made with this phyllo to be neat, they are messy. This phyllo is tasty and crunchy, but it will break, that is why it is important to score the pie before baking, so that you can get a cleaner cut.
Working with Phyllo
- Most likely your phyllo will be frozen. So, make sure you defrost in the refrigerator before using. Do not open the package before it has defrosted. Once it is defrosted, and you open the package do not attempt to pick up a sheet of it has not defrosted completely because it will break.
- Now that you are ready to work with make sure that you keep it covered completely with a damp kitchen towel, work with one sheet at a time.
- Make sure most of the surface of the phyllo is covered with olive oil, otherwise you will have a paper like texture not a crispy one.
Make Ahead and Storing Savory Pies
Pies is one of those dishes that are easy to make ahead and store. There are 2 ways:
- You can assemble the pie, wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it. When you are ready to bake it, just remove from the freezer and bake, and you will have freshly baked pie to serve.
- Another way, is to assemble the pie, bake it, let it cool completely, cut it in pieces, wrap and freeze. When you are ready to serve, just heat up the pieces at 325 until warm and crispy and serve.
Easy Greek Olive Oil Homemade Crust – Phyllo
This traditional crust or phyllo made with olive oil does not disappoint. Crunchy, hearty, a perfect crust for any pie.
My Most Delicious Savory Pie Recipes
Sweet cooked leek along with feta, wrapped in homemade phyllo dough.
You will enjoy making this delicious and easy tart: Sweet potato chunks roasted with tangy feta and herbs on a crunchy phyllo crust.
Zucchini at its best. This traditional Greek recipe combines zucchini with feta cheese and herbs nestled in phyllo for the perfect snack, lunch or dinner!
Sweet sautéed onion with feta cheese all wrapped in phyllo.
The authentic recipe for spanakopita, the tasty and healthy Greek staple. Spinach cooked with herbs and feta cheese covered with crunchy phyllo.