Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Vlitopita-Greek Amaranth and Cheese Pie

Greek Amaranth is a fast growing plant that is very popular in Greece in the summertime. The Greeks pick the tender leaves and steam them, serving them with lemon juice and olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. They buy them in large quantities and eat them with almost every meal.

The greens are almost always available at Greek restaurants and I would recommend you try them if you are in Greece. They have a succulent earthy flavor and are very nutritious. Think of them as a kind of spinach.

A great way to use any leftover vlita(you can substitute spinach or any other greens) is to make a pita. Anything that goes between two pieces of dough is called pita in Greece. Hence, spanakopita, spinach pie.

Mix 20 ounces of flour, 1 packet of yeast and 1/2 tspn. sea salt

Add one third of a cup of extra virgin Greek olive oil
and 1/3 cup warm water

add an egg and mix well

Cover and let rise for about an hour
When dough doubles it is ready to roll

Divide your dough in two and roll out two pieces to fit an 18x9 deep sided pan

Steam about 2 lbs. of greens. Let them cool and squeeze them so there's no water left. Chop greens

chop about a third cup mint leaves

To the greens add 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese, 6 ounces grated parmesan or Greek graviera cheese and, 6 ounces fresh ricotta or Greek anthotiro cheese. Lightly beat two eggs and add to the mix. Also add 1 teaspoon of seasalt, 1/2 tspn. black pepper and grate about half a tspn of fresh nutmeg. Mix well.
Lay down your first rolled piece of dough and top with the greens filling

Top with the second piece of dough

Cut off any excess dough and crimp the edges

Bake for about an hour in a 350 degree preheated oven




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