3.26.2010

Dinner Pie: Swiss Chard and Feta

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I found this recipe randomly. I was searching for ways to cook fennel, and somehow came across it. It caught my attention. Not because I'm a pie person, I'm not really. But I like working with phyllo dough. It's delicate, and pretty. And you have to be careful. I like that.

I originally tried this recipe out for Conan Day (see previous post). Then I had dough and cheese left over, so I made it again later in the week. I have pictures of both, one was made in a casserole dish, and one in a pie dish. I prefer the casserole. It was easier. You can make more. And you don't have to cut the phyllo sheets into rounds.

The spinach version of this recipe is good too. But, I really liked it with the chard. And so did the husband. He doesn't care too much for chard, but he asked me to make this for Easter dinner. And he considers very few side dishes worthy for his Easter lamb, so that should tell you its delicious.
Greek Swiss Chard Pie (New York Times)
Serves 6
(my only alteration was that I substituted a shallot for the onion)

2 to 2 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, stemmed and washed thoroughly
Salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, preferably a combination of dill and parsley, or 1 teaspoon each dried thyme and oregano
3 large eggs, beaten
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground pepper
12 sheets phyllo pastry plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or 2 tablespoons each melted butter and extra-virgin olive oil, combined, for brushing

1) Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil while you stem and wash the greens. Wash them in 2 changes of water, lifting them from the water so that the dirt stays behind. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water comes to a boil, add the chard and blanch for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon or a skimmer, transfer to the ice water. Let sit just until cool, a few minutes, then drain and squeeze out excess water by taking up bunches of the greens, making a fist around them and squeezing. Chop coarsely and set aside.

2) Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Oil or butter a 10-inch tart or cake pan (I like to use a ceramic dish for this). Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring often, until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds to a minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the greens, herbs, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and stir the mixture for a minute, until the greens are coated with oil. Remove from the heat.

3) Beat the eggs in a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Crumble or blend in the feta. Stir in the greens, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4) Line the pie dish with 7 pieces of phyllo, lightly brushing each piece with butter or oil and turning the dish after each addition so that the edges of the phyllo drape evenly over the pan. Fill with the greens mixture. If using phyllo, fold the draped edges in over the filling, lightly brushing the folded in sheets of phyllo ,then layer the remaining 5 pieces on top, brushing each piece with butter or olive oil. Stuff the edges into the sides of the pan. Brush the top with the butter or oil, and make a few slashes so that steam can escape as the pie bakes.

5) Bake 40 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until the crust is golden. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature.

2 comments:

  1. i just found this recipe on the NYTimes site, while looking for a different way to use chard. glad to have found someone who tried it out and gave it a good review! thanks for the casserole tip..i'll probably go that route, too.

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  2. it's a great savory pie. enjoy :)

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