This is a VEGAN and GLUTEN-FREE dish. Here on Kea I always add wild fennel fronds to the herb mix. Serve as main course, with rice pilaf or any grain dish. It is an ideal finger food, cut into bite-size pieces. If you want to make it more substantial, add 2-3 eggs and 2 cups crumbled feta (no longer Vegan). In Metsovo a similar pie has also leeks, and is called pispilita or blatsaria (see Variation).
Read HERE more about greens and herbs in other well-known dishes.
Serves 6 (or 8-12 as part of a meze spread)
2 bunches scallions, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced
2 bunches flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped dill
1/2 cup chopped wild fennel fronds (optional)
2 cups chopped tender greens: outer leaves of lettuce, spinach or chard. Use tender foraged greens, if available.
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups yellow cornmeal or more, as needed
1 ½ cups warm water
About 1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cup chopped chervil
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)
Greek yogurt for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
In a large bowl toss together the scallions, parsley, dill and greens. Add the salt and ‘knead’ the mixture to wilt and soften the greens. Their volume will reduce considerably.
In a small bowl mix 1 1/2 cups cornmeal with the water and add to the green-herb mixture. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, the mint, chervil and feta, if using. Add 1/2 -1 teaspoon pepper and toss well to mix.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush generously with olive oil. Scatter the pine nuts on the paper, if you are using them, and then carefully spread the mixture, making sure that it is not thicker than 2/3 of an inch.
Mix 1/2 cup cornmeal with 1/2 cup warm water and spread over the greens. You may need a bit more cornmeal slurry to almost cover the greens. Drizzle liberally with olive oil, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes, or more, until set and lightly golden.
Let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
Serve warm or at room temperature, accompanied by yogurt or feta, if you like.
VARIATION: To make the Metsovo PISPILITA or BLATSARIA omit half the scallions and 1/2 cup of the mixed greens, and add 4 leeks. Discard only the dark green part, then halve the leeks lengthwise and chop in 1/2-inch slices the white and most of the light green part. Wash well and drain, patting dry with a tea-towel. Saute, tossing in 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet, for about 6 minutes, or until the leeks start to soften, and then mix with the rest of the chopped greens and herbs. Proceed as described above.