Ithaca Pie

Remove tough stalks from the spinach, chard and kale. Coarsely chop the leaves and add the finely chopped herbs. Sauté the onion and garlic in a little oil in a large pan and add all the greens, including the spring onions and leeks. Mix well with most of the remaining oil. Add the uncooked rice and take off the heat. Season well.

To make the pastry, sift the flour with the salt and rub in the butter or pulse in a food processor until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add enough beaten egg and iced water to bring the pastry together in a ball. Wrap it in cling film and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4. Divide the pastry into two, allow it to warm up for a minute or so and roll it out – on a floured surface – as thinly as you possibly can.

Roll one piece around a rolling pin to carry it and put it in the base of an 8″ cake tin. It is important that there’s plenty of extra pastry hanging over the side of the tin.

Add the filling and then crumble over the feta.


Cover with the other layer of pastry. Then crimp the two layers together by brushing with a little water and pinching around the edge.

Brush a little oil over the top, scatter with a few sesame seeds and prick the surface with a knife. Bake the pie in the preheated oven for just over an hour.

NOTE- if using fillo pastry, butter each sheet, layer 3 sheets in the bottom of a foil or cake tin. Spoon the filling in and then top with the remaining 2 layers; wrinkle them to fit, it should look like a pom pom. Brush with more butter or beaten egg and bake for 25 minutes at the same temperature.

This is delicious once it has cooled a little and is, perhaps, even better eaten cold the next day. It’s also excellent for feeding lots of people on a picnic.









The filling

250g spinach, chard, kale (one, or a mixture of all, of these greens)

1 small bunch of dill, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped mint

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

75ml olive oil

2 spring onions, finely chopped

1 small leeks, finely chopped

200g cooked rice (optional)

100g feta

1 egg, beaten

Salt and black pepper

For the shortcrust pastry (or use 6 sheets fillo pastry- see note)

750g plain flour

1 teaspoon salt

375g unsalted butter

3 eggs, beaten

Ice-cold water

1tablespoon sesame seeds