5 min read

“Hortopita”-Wild Greens Pie


“Spinach is so last year” muttered a well to do foodie friend recently.

“Huh?”…I replied.

“Well…you know. It’s all about the superfoods now. The dark, leafy greens”.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He means well but is always following the latest and greatest in foods.

Don’t get me wrong. I know I love to experiment (as I did recently with my gluten free baking) but I have always subscribed to the grazing philosophy. “A little bit of this and all in moderation”.

That’s what I find works for me.

And then he got me thinking.

For as long as I can remember, most of my family and relatives have always had leafy greens as part of their diet. “Horta” as they are known or wild greens were served alongside meat dishes or on their own with a selection of other goodies, such as cheese, olives and bread. (You can see where I learnt to graze!).

They were blanched (or boiled to death depending on whose house you visited!) and were usually bathed in extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. As per usual, I detested them as a kid but grew to love them in my later years.

I used to marvel at the Greek women who would go out foraging for these wild greens. They had such a skill at identifying what was edible and what was not!

These wild greens varied and often included amaranth, dandelion greens, nettles and purslane.

Some of these are hard to come by, especially for a city dweller like myself. So whenever I feel like a batch of horta I often use silverbeet, spinach and/or kale.

But you know…the weather is getting cooler. And I feel like pie.

Ages ago I made a similar pie on the blog and accompanied it with kohlrabi. It was a great combination but today I felt like going down a more semi-traditional route.

It’s called “hortopita” and I’ve used a combination of spinach, cavolo nero (black kale) and regular kale. The pastry is a lot thicker than the regular fillo but it’s a pastry I am comfortable with making and adore. There’s some feta and kefalogaviera for a nice salty boost and some eggs to bind it all together.

Super foods never tasted better I tell ya!



  • 250 grams spinach, washed and thinly sliced
  • 75 grams cavolo nero, washed, stalks removed and thinly sliced
  • 75 grams kale, washed, stalks removed and thinly sliced
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp chopped dill
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 150 grams feta cheese, crumbled
  • 25 grams grated Kefalogaviera cheese or Pecorino
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 2 x quantity of  pastry (I used the pastry from this old post of mine and doubled it)


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 deg C and oil a baking dish (mine measured 25cm W x 35cm L)
  2. Divide your pastry into two and roll out to measure the length of the pan.  Place one quantity of the rolled pastry onto the baking dish , ensuring it fits well and comes up the sides of the dish.
  3. Combine the cheeses, salt, pepper and eggs in a large bowl  and then toss through the remaining and mix well, ensuring the mixture is evenly distributed.  (using your hands makes this part a lot easier).
  4. Place the greens mixture into the dish with the pastry and ensuring it all fits.  (Don’t be afraid to force it all in there!)
  5. Lay the second rolled piece of pastry over the greens mixture and pinch the sides over to encase the mixture.  Pierce the top with a sharp knife making some vents.
  6. Brush the top generously with olive oil and bake in the oven for 45-50 mins or until the top is browned.
  7. Allow to cool in the pan for at least an hour before slicing through and serving.


  • Rosa

    A scrumptious pie! This hyper healthy version is fantastic.



  • Spinach is always “right now” for me. Always. I love your version of this dish Peter. I’ve always wanted to make my own pastry for spanakopita. Thin, commercial filo can be a bit flaky and dry, especially for a pie. Your home-made pastry looks perfect. Something I’ve always been a bit scared to make it myself but you’ve made me just that little bit braver now – one day I’ll make it for sure 🙂

  • You’re speaking my language. Love hortopita. That looks delicious. I’ve made a similar version http://www.wildgreensandsardines.com/2010/11/hortopita-mixed-greens-pie.html. Yamas!

  • Kathy Kordalis

    Thank you for bringing me back to my giagia Sofia’s kitchen in Sydney! Brought a smile to my face on a rare sunny day in London. Your pics are always fab & inspiring! KK

  • It looks really delicious specially the pastry -it looks quite thin and crunchy-.

  • kankana |sunshine and smile

    I don’t think I can ever let go spinach. It will always be my fav 🙂

  • Spanish Recipes

    What a tremendous blog you have now!!! Wow it looks awesome and the pictures have more protagonism…I love it, really beautiful :D.

    Pedro, Peter, Pedrito I have to plan a trip to Australia to taste your hortopita recipe, I’m brining a Rioja ;D. Congratulations on the new blog!

  • joannova

    Nothing more delicious than a savory pie – especially one like this.

  • I doubt spinach will ever go out of vogue. Superfood fads come, hang around, and then become mainstream. It must get a little boring riding the superfood bandwagon every day. Three types of spinach in one dish …. yeah baby!

  • We have a similar pie in Peru, but with silverbeet (sometimes plus spinach). Haven’t eaten it in ages, though, I need to come up with a gluten- and dairy-free version.

  • I love pie with spinach or greens and spinach in never “out,” as far as I’m concerned.

  • I love your offering! Kale is such a gorgeous vegetable and you have to pick it young before the grubs come to rest in and devour the healthy leaves. I will try your provencal pastry, it seems crispy, wholesome, rustic yet light. Perfect for our Autumn weather. Great photos!

  • Pete, it’s Spring here and that means lots of greens available to make a greens pie. Nice looking phyllo!

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    Pastry, cheese… yup the super foods I love… oh yeah with the greens, gotta have the greens 🙂

  • I can’t stand food trends. I just like what I like! No greens will ever be out as far as I’m concerned. This looks truly amazing.

  • I did not suspect that vegetables may be out of fashion, hahaha. This is so crazy. You made me ask uncle google many questions 😀 And your pie will be perfect for me, I like spinach so much. I’m waiting for the fresh one to appear in stores.

  • Donalyn @ The Creekside Cook

    I look forward to try this once we get some green going in the garden – I like to grows lots of different ones, so that we never get bored. We set our own food trends around here 😉 http://thecreeksidecook.com

  • i love greens and had to laugh at the reference of them being ‘boiled to death’…thats the way my Greek mother cooks them! Your pie looks delicious…my neighbour is from Kefalonia island and makes the best ‘Wild Greens’ pie…Im going to give yours a go!

  • Maya Abramsky Chulpaev

    I LOVE Greek pies and especially greens pie! thank you!

  • Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy

    This is my sort of food. I love recipes that are steeped in tradition and then adapted for today with accessible ingredients. I can see myself making this for a brunch situation – stunning.

  • Bellini Valli

    I did have horta when I visited Greece but I have never had this pie.The only wild green I personally can recognize are dandelions but I would be interested to learn more.

  • This sounds soooo much more palatable than the “wild greens” I’ve had. They invariably always taste like, well, grass. This wild greens pie I could definitely do!

  • I want to eat all the food on your blog, Peter. This looks incredible and I love your explanation of the different greens

  • This a perfect savory pie which would not last in my home…

  • Banana Wonder

    This is my most favorite thing to eat in the world! Isn’t it incredible how the Greek ladies forage? I wish I could do that! Spanakopita is so last year, bring on that hortopita! Also, your phyllo looks so delicious – need to try your recipe.

  • Perfect timing! I just culled a heap of sweet potato greens from the garden and was wondering what to do with them … 🙂

  • Gnol

    Mmm..delicious. I haven’t had some of that for a while.

  • Do you have any tips for making it with nettles and dandelion greens?
    They are plentiful around me right now, but I know the nettles at least
    would have to be boiled first. Would boiling up the greens and then
    baking the whole result in overly-mushy greens?

    • Peter G

      I’ve never been able to get my hands any of the traditional wild greens. If my memory serves me right, I’m sure they were added raw in the original pies being made by relatives. (just can’t remember exactly).

      • Ok, I’ll poke around to see if others have written about it then. Thanks!