Greek Hand Pies with Greens, Dill, Mint and Feta
- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS
- SERVINGS: 4 individual hand pies
Jacques Pépin ordered a saiti, a turnover filled with tangy wild greens and feta, at Marianthi tavern in the Greek village of Monemvasía. This recipe is a close approximation. The olive oil in the dough (adapted from a recipe by Diane Kochilas) makes the crust extraordinarily flaky.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 6 medium scallions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 1/2 pounds greens, such as Swiss chard, spinach and dandelion greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dill
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped mint
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped oregano
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta (2 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Freshly ground pepper
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- In a large bowl, mix the flour with 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Make a well in the center and add the water, 1/4 cup of the olive oil and the vinegar. Mix until the dough comes together; it will be sticky.
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth and no longer tacky, using a pastry scraper to free it from the work surface. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour.
- In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the scallions and cook over moderate heat until softened, 3 minutes. Add the greens and cook over high heat, stirring, until wilted, 2 minutes. Stir in the dill, mint and oregano and cook until wilted, 1 minute. Transfer the contents of the skillet to a colander and let cool. When the greens are cool enough to handle, squeeze out any excess liquid.
- In a large bowl, combine the greens with the feta, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and the egg. Season the filling with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Lightly flour a large, rimmed baking sheet. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; cut into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece out to a 9-inch round 1/16 inch thick. Using an 8-inch plate as a template, cut an 8-inch disk from each round. Mound one-fourth of the filling on the lower half of each disk. Fold the dough over to make a half-moon; press the edge of the dough to seal. Using a lightly floured fork, crimp the edges. Transfer the hand pies to the prepared baking sheet.
- In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of the vegetable oil over moderately high heat until shimmering. Add 2 pies at a time and fry, turning once, until deep golden brown, about 6 minutes. Drain the pies on paper towels. Serve hot.
These flaky, herb-filled pies pair well with many Greek white wines, which tend to be light and fragrant, at least when made from local Greek grape varieties.
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