The Earl of Sandwich might have gotten the credit for creating the sandwich, but they were doing it all over the Mediterranean centuries before him. Long before UberEats, those resourceful cooks Aglaia mentioned created a wonderful wealth of flatbreads, pies and pastries filled with indigenous ingredients, made to eat on the go. This one is filled with horta, or wild greens. A Greek mainstay, they’re vitamin-rich and often growing wild and ready for picking. I should be so lucky. Unlike its feta-filled cousin, this version is vegan. Serve as main course, with rice pilaf or any grain dish. It is an ideal finger food, cut into bite-size pieces. In Metsovo a similar pie has also leeks, and is called pispilita or blatsaria.
- 2 bunches scallions white and tender green parts, thinly sliced
- 2 bunches flat-leaf parsley chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chopped dill
- 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
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 and chervil and1/2 -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.