These wonderful savory cheesy treats are wrapped in chard leaves instead of pastry. Serve with a salad for lunch, or with some crisp toasts as an appetite teaser before dinner. You can make them ahead although they are better served warm. I recommend you assemble them and bake just before serving. The filling is made with yogurt, flavored with mint and basil. Served warm the pies are like a delicious fresh cheese.
The original idea came from an article in the NY Times food section. I modified the original recipe by using goat milk yogurt instead of cows milk, and basil instead of dill. Feel free to modify it back to the original.
The recipe is fashioned after a Greek pie which is wrapped in grape leaves, asmapita. According to Aglaia Kremezi, a well known Greed food writer, “pie” is the translation of the Greek term “pita” which can be used for al kinds of tarts and pies, whether or not they are wrapped in filo. I loved this low carbohydrate version.
Greek Pie Wrapped in Chard Leaves
- 6 large chard leaves, washed, dried, ribs removed but left intact
- 2 cups plain full-fat Greek yogurt, I used regular full fat goat milk yogurt and had to drain it
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint
- 1 tablespoon chopped basil (or 2 teaspoons chopped dill)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup cornmeal or rice flour
- For garnish – a handful of lightly toasted pine nuts and Greek olives
- If using goat yogurt which is not Greek, drain the yogurt in a small mesh strainer for 2 hours before starting. This is not necessary if you are using regular full fat Greek yogurt.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the stems from the chard leaves and blanch them in the boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cool water, squeeze dry gently.
- Put the yogurt in a mixing bowl and season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Mix in the garlic, scallions, mint, basil (or dill), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon zest and cornmeal (or rice flour).
- Brush 6 1-cup ramekins with olive oil. Line each ramekin with a chard leaf, allowing the edges to drape over the edge. Fill each leaf with 1/2 cup o the yogurt mixture. Fold the edges of the chard leaf back over the top and brush with olive oil. Place the ramekins on a baking dish.
- Bake 20 minutes.
- Let cool slightly, then turn ramekins over onto a plate to unmold.
- To serve, unfold the top to expose the filling and garnish with pine nuts and additional chopped herbs.