An easy to make and very tasty traditional leek pie recipe from North Western Greece. If you like leeks, you will love this pie.
Leeks are my favourite seasonal vegetable this time of year. They have been an ingredient and seasoning in Greek food since the earliest times. Among the ancient Delphians, leeks were included in ritual offerings to Leto (mother of Apollo and Artemis) during their Theoxenia or “Banquet of the Gods” festival. It was believed that Leto had craved leeks while pregnant with the twins, thus a contest was instituted in her honour in which only the largest leeks were selected to be added to the offerings table. The producer whose leek(s) won the contest would be rewarded with a portion from the collected offerings. Leeks as thick around as radishes and turnips were reported. Interestingly, there appears to have been some kind of relationship between divine twins and leeks. For, it was also related that the ancient Athenians included leeks in their customary offerings to the Dioscuri.
Today, Greek cuisine offers many variations on the use of leeks. They are included in everything from sausage stuffing to soups and stews, and are often baked into ‘pies’ or pites (pronounced “PEE-tess”) as we say in Greek. For those of you who do not relish the idea of making pites with phyllo pastry (cf. filo), this version will make your life easier, as well as add some excellent texture and flavour to your winter table.
3 - 4 large leeks, sliced thinly (upper dark green stalks removed)
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups of milk
1 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup Greek extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh green onion, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
A pinch of salt
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the leeks for about 5 minutes, then add the fresh green onion and continue sautéing until both are soft and tender (another 3 minutes or so).
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs well then add the milk, feta cheese, flour, dill, oregano, salt and pepper and sautéed leeks and onions and mix well.
- Grease the sides of your pie dish/pan with some olive oil, pour the mixture to the dish/pan then bake for about1 hour in an oven pre-heated to 350°F (180° C).
Allow to cool before cutting. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
Personally, I prefer serving this on the following day to allow the flavours time to meld. I usually refrigerate the pie once it has cooled to room temperature and then cut and warm the slices as need.
Kali Orexi! (Bon Appétit),
Greek Food Recipes and Reflections
Copyright © 2008, Sam Sotiropoulos. All Rights Reserved