A seasonal pie with a cornmeal crust from Demo Chef Despina Siahuli
Butter, for greasing
Extra virgin olive oil, for greasing and frying
For the filling:
1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped
400g seasonal greens (such as baby spinach, chard or beetroot greens, nettles, sorrel, or a combination of these), stems removed, washed thoroughly and chopped into medium-fine strips
5 spring onions, washed and finely chopped
1 bunch of dill, washed and finely chopped
4 springs of fresh mint, leaves picked, washed and finely chopped
150g feta, crumbled
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried spearmint
1 tsp sweet paprika
For the crust:
1 large egg
100g whole milk
60g extra virgin olive oil
320 fine cornmeal
2 tsp of butter
50g feta, crumbled
½ tsp dried spearmint
Preheat the oven to 200C. Butter and oil your pie dish.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a large pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender—about 5 mins. If you are using chard or regular spinach, add them to the pan and cook for another min. Remove from the heat and add the rest of the filling ingredients. Toss everything together, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Now make the crust. In a bowl, combine the egg, milk and olive oil. Whisk and gradually add the cornmeal, then gradually add 200g water, until you create a kind porridge consistency—add more water if needed. Add 30g of the crumbled feta, the spearmint and salt and mix well.
Place half of the crust mixture in your buttered and oiled baking dish. Moisten your hands and spread the cornmeal mixture over the bottom of the pan in a thin, even layer.
Spread the greens over the cornmeal bottom crust in an even layer. Dilute the remaining cornmeal mixture with water until it is the consistency of wet sand. Spoon it over the greens and spread in an even layer. Add the remaining feta and drizzle with some olive oil.
Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour, until the top has browned.
Recipe: Despina Siahuli