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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. More Greek Recipes

May 2008


Credit: © Lucy Schaeffer

Recipe Summary

2 hrs
1 hr
4 individual hand pies


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

Make Ahead

The dough and filling can each be refrigerated, separately, overnight. Bring the filling to room temperature before assembling.

Suggested Pairing

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.