Swiss Chard Pie in Phyllo (Filo) Pastry

Swiss Chard Pie: A hearty vegetarian meal of Swiss chard, pine nuts, ricotto and feta wrapped in phyllo dough #phyllo #Swiss #chard #vegetarian mjskitchen.com

 

One of this year’s goals was to learn how to work with phyllo (filo) dough. I’ve always found it so light no matter what it’s filled with, plus I love the texture, but working with it seemed intimidating. A continuing inspiration to help push me past this intimidation comes from my friend Sissi @ With A Glass who wraps phyllo around everything from curried beef to black pudding, green chile to plums.  So with her assistance, I was able to tackle my fears and use this savory Swiss Chard Pie as my testing dish.

This Swiss Chard Pie is one of our favorite vegetarian dishes and has been since 1986. The only problem is, it is a little heavy because it’s made like a double crusted pie requiring two pastry doughs; therefore, it is the ideal dish to benefit from the lighter phyllo pastry.  The original recipe came out of the October, 1986, issue of Gourmet magazine, the year I made it for the first time. Through the years, I’ve tweaked it a little here and there, but substituting the pasty dough with phyllo has been the most significant tweak in taste and texture.  I’ll never make it with pastry dough again.

What’s inside a Swiss chard pie you ask?  Well, besides for a lot of Swiss chard, there are raisins, pine nuts, olives, herbs, ricotta and feta to name a few ingredients.  Through the years I have adjusted ingredients and amounts from the original recipe, and even made a couple of adjustment for the change to phyllo, but it’s still the delicious recipe it started as, just a little healthier.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

 

Swiss Chard Pie: A hearty vegetarian meal of Swiss chard, pine nuts, ricotto and feta wrapped in phyllo dough #phyllo #Swiss #chard #vegetarian @mjskitchen | mjskitchen.com

[print_this]

Swiss Chard Pie in Phyllo (Filo) Pastry Recipe

Inspired by Swiss Chard Pie recipe in Gourmet Magazine, October 1986

Yields 8 pieces
Prep and Cook Time: less than 1 ½ hours

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 bunches Swiss Chard or 10-12 chard leaves, reserve 6 stems
½ large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. oregano
Generous amount of fresh ground pepper
3 Tbsp. raisins
3 Tbsp. toasted pinon (pine nuts)
¼ cup Kalamata olives, chopped
1 egg
½ cup whole milk ricotta
¼ + ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
8 – 10 sheets of filo pastry (~ 9″x 20″ sheets)*
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F (180° C).
  2. Strip the Swiss chard leaves from the stems and coarsely chop the leaves. Dice 6 of the stems.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, chard stems, and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the chard leaves, oregano, thyme, and cracked pepper. Cover and let steam about 5 minutes. Check and stir a couple of times to make sure you have enough moisture for the chard not to stick. If it’s dry and the chard is sticking to the skillet add a tablespoon or 2 of water.
  5. While the chard is steaming, toast the pinon and set to the side. (Step 7)
  6. After 5 minutes remove from heat, uncover, add the raisins and olives.  Stir and let cool.
  7. Toasting the pinon nuts – Heat a small heavy skillet over medium-low heat.  Add pinon nuts.  Slowly toast, stirring occasionally until lightly toasted. (Pinons do tend to stick to the pan more than other nuts so flipping them for an even toasting doesn’t always work. You’ll need to use a heat proof spatula of some type.)
  8. In a 4 cup measuring cup, beat the egg with a fork. Add the ricotta and ¼ cup feta cheese. Whisk to combine.
  9. The Filo – Prepare a rectangular casserole dish* by lightly coating with olive oil.
    1. Whisk together 2 Tbsp. melted butter with 1 Tbsp. olive oil.
    2. Lay one sheet of filo in the pan, letting the ends hang over the edges. Brush with some of the melted butter.
    3. Repeat with 3 more sheets, layering the sheets so that filo is hanging off all edges. (I turn 2 of the sheets 90 degrees to get enough overhang on all sides.)
  10. Add the pinon nuts and wet ingredients to the chard mixture. Stir to combine. Pour on top of the filo and spread evenly to the edges of the dish.  Spread ¼ cup crumbled feta over the top of the filling.
  11. Top the filling with 4 more sheets* of filo (keeping the sheets inside the dish), brushing each with butter. Fold the overhanging filo over the top and brush with butter.
  12. With a very sharp knife, cut the pie into serving pieces (BEFORE baking)*.Precut your phyllo pastry dishes before baking to make it easier to serve once baked. | mjskitchen.com
  13. Bake in preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes or until the filo on top turns a nice golden brown.

Swiss Chard Pie: A hearty vegetarian dish with swiss chard wrapped in phyllo pastry | mjskitchen.com

To reheat, place in oven and turn on for 350. Once the oven is hot, set timer for 10 minutes.  Do not reheat in the microwave.  It will make it soft and unpalatable.

*See Kitchen Notes for more information.

[/print_this]

 

A hearty vegetarian meal of Swiss chard, pine nuts, ricotto and feta wrapped in phyllo dough #phyllo #Swiss #chard #vegetarian @mjskitchen

 

Kitchen Notes

Phyllo (Filo) pastry – The size of the pastry sheets depends on the size of the casserole dish you use.

Size of casserole – I’ve used both a 8″ x 12″ rectangular dish and a 8″ x 14″ rectangular dish.  The larger dish yields a thinner filling and larger pieces.

Layering the filo pastry – For the top layers, you might be able to fold one sheet (for 2) if the sheets are big enough. They don’t need to go all of the way to the edge of casserole because you’re going to fold the edges of the bottom sheets over the them.

Pre-cutting the pieces – When I saw this instruction in one of Sissi’s recipes I had to write her to ask “Why”?  The answer – It yields beautiful pieces with intact sheet of crusty phyllo.  Cutting the pieces after the dish is cooked causes the phyllo to crumble and your pieces aren’t as pretty.  Great advice!

If you like this Swiss chard pie, then you will probably enjoy these other Swiss chard recipes:

A slice of Swiss chard and leek quiche

 

Swiss Chard and Leek Quiche

 

 

 

Swiss Chard Calzone

 

Swiss Chard Calzone

 

 

 

Tags: ,

46 Responses to “Swiss Chard Pie in Phyllo (Filo) Pastry”

  1. Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina May 30, 2016 at 10:46 am #

    My family used a lot of swiss chard in recipes instead of spinach. Then I started to plant it in my gardens later on. It is such a delicious filling and in phyllo, I can only imagine how delicious this is!

    • mj May 30, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

      Thanks so much Roz! We’ve pretty much replaced spinach with Swiss Chard and am loving it. This is a great way to use that garden chard!

  2. Debra Eliotseats May 6, 2016 at 9:53 am #

    Our Swiss chard is alive and well, making it through the winter and prospering in the garden. (I though it had totally frozen out so It was a great surprise.) Pinned this so I could make this delicious sounding meal. Love the ingredients!

    • mj May 7, 2016 at 11:33 am #

      So jealous of your Swiss chard! Our yard does have any place for spring and fall veggies…no enough sun. Hope you do try this. It’s quite awesome!

  3. Hotly Spiced May 2, 2016 at 9:40 pm #

    Swiss chard filo pastry pie is a favourite dinner in this house too. And I think I’ve been making it for about the same length of time as well. I would really love to try your recipe as it has a great variety of ingredients xx

    • mj May 3, 2016 at 7:30 pm #

      Did you get your recipe from Gourmet? I took Gourmet for years and really hated to get rid of them. Now they are worth about 5 times what I paid for them. Anyhoo, all of the many ingredients really add a lot of depth to this pie. Thanks for coming by and hope school is going well.

  4. Diana May 2, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

    Right up my alley. I’m definitely going to try this recipe soon. Thanks for sharing and I love the new profile picture, by the way! So sweet & happy!

    • mj May 3, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

      Thanks so much Diana!!!

  5. Soni May 2, 2016 at 8:21 am #

    Oooh these look lovely!!I’ve never worked with phyllo either and need to start soon 🙂 Your fillings are delicious MJ!

    • mj May 3, 2016 at 7:27 pm #

      Thanks Soni! And here I thought I was the last one to try working with phyllo. 🙂

  6. Treat and Trick April 30, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

    Never tried filo pastry so far but after seeing your wonderful pie, I want to make this…..

    • mj May 1, 2016 at 10:08 am #

      Thank you Darlin! It’s really easier than you think. That’s what I discovered anyway. 🙂

  7. Anna @ shenANNAgans April 30, 2016 at 2:46 am #

    Raisins, what a delightful addition to this recipe. I shudder when i think about working with filo, an entire day as an apprentice chef was spent making the thousand layers. Bleh.

    • mj April 30, 2016 at 11:42 am #

      Thousands of layers of filo? That would probably do me in as well. 🙂 My husband says the pine nuts make the dish, but I think the raisins do. They are so unexpected and a great complement to all of the other ingredients. Thanks!

  8. Viviane Bauquet Farre - Food and Style April 29, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    Glad to see you conquering the intimidation! And I must say, the texture looks like it came out just perfect. A tangy kick of feta cheese… yes please!

    • mj April 30, 2016 at 11:41 am #

      Yes, it did come out perfect! Thanks Viviane!

  9. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen April 28, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

    I haven’t had Swisss Chard but this just looks amazing!

    • mj April 30, 2016 at 11:38 am #

      Thanks Peachy!

  10. Karen (Back Road Journal) April 28, 2016 at 7:37 am #

    I’d choose this new version of yours over your original recipe. I agree with you that phyllo makes for a lighter dish and this recipe sounds great.

    • mj April 28, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

      Thanks so much Karen!

  11. Raymund April 28, 2016 at 3:50 am #

    I am not a fan of Swiss Chard but you made it palatable for me, with ricotta and feta I can have double servings of this

    • mj April 28, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

      Thanks Raymund! Yes, all of the other ingredients does suppress the flavor of “just chard”. Lots of complementary ingredients.

  12. Abbe@This is How I Cook April 27, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

    Love the filling in this! I do like working with filo-it isn’t hard-I just always have filo left over. Can it be refrozen? Great job, MJ!

    • mj April 28, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

      Thanks Abbe! I’m not sure if it can be frozen or not. I usually make a couple of more meals with it…different ingredients. I’m always afraid that refreezing would dry it out.

  13. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles April 27, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

    First off, it must be said, as soon as I saw the word ‘phyllo’ I immediately thought of our friend Sissi – what can I say, the two simply go together; look up one in the dictionary, you’ll get the other :o. Secondly, I must tell you how much I’m enjoying your new profile picture MJ… I noticed it right away; lovely to see you. And this pie, I’m totally digging all of the gorgeous ingredients in your plant-based beauty. The use of phyllo in this recipe is such a clever way to lighten up a family favorite. So pretty with the sprigs of fresh thyme too. I’m craving it!

    • mj April 28, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

      Oh, that’s funny Kelly! She obviously my “go to” for phyllo advice. She did help me through the first batch that I made. The pre-cut threw me off, but it certainly made sense once I saw the results. Thanks for noticing the profile picture. The other one was over 10 years old, so I thought it was time to update. I’ve gotten quite a bit grayer. 🙂 When I made the original recipe from Gourmet, I only added like 1/4 tsp. thyme and no other herbs because I was actually following the recipe. It was kind of bland. The increase in thyme and added oregano really picked up the flavors as herbs usually do. Thanks for all of your wonderful comments Kelly!

  14. Evelyne CulturEatz April 27, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

    So basically this is like an awesome twist on the classic Greek spanakopita! Obviously I love it when people challenge themselves to use new ingredients, really enjoying this recipe.

    • mj April 28, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

      Yep – a serious twist. 🙂 Thanks!

  15. Bam's Kitchen April 27, 2016 at 8:08 am #

    I love phyllo recipes and this one looks amazing. Okay I have read through the ingredients 3 times. No chilis? Wow this has to be a first. Also love your new profile photos. Wishing you a super week and this recipe needs to be on our menu this week but I might add a chili just to celebrate it MJ kitchen style.. Take care

    • mj April 28, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

      Ha Ha!!!! Yes, there are NO chiles in the recipe. However, I’m sure a few chiles would only make it better. 🙂 Thanks Bobbi for all of your comments! Have a fabulous remaining week and weekend!

  16. Anne@ASaladForAllSeasons April 25, 2016 at 11:51 pm #

    This looks scrumptious MJ! I love chard….and all the other ingredients…the cheese, the pine nuts…and especially the phyllo! Though I’m a bit intimidated working with it….it’s worth it for that buttery flaky goodness! Looking forward to trying this one for sure! : )

    • mj April 26, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

      Thanks so much Anne! Now that I’ve worked with filo a couple of times, I don’t find it nearly as intimidating. And yes, it is so worth the buttery flaky crust. 🙂

  17. Nads April 25, 2016 at 9:35 am #

    I love love love Mediterranean food and this looks very Mediterranean inspired. It is something I could dive right into. You can be sure I will be giving this a try.

    • mj April 26, 2016 at 7:37 pm #

      Thanks so much Nads! Yes, I do know how you love Mediterranean, so you should definitely love these. 🙂

  18. Sissi April 25, 2016 at 9:29 am #

    Dear MJ, what a beautiful delicious-looking pie! Your post makes me so happy!!! Thank you so much for such kind words… I’m happy for having encouraged you to use filo and even happier to know you like it as much as I do. You are right: I wrap filo around literally everything 😉
    But you know what? Since, thanks to you, I finally dared roasting chile (and never stopped!), roasted chile and feta cheese is one of my favourite and most frequent fillings for filo rolls (actually, this is what I’ve just had for my afternoon snack. Having filo rolls and reading about your filo pie!).
    Now it’s mu turn to cook Swiss chard! I live in Switzerland but have never cooked it!

    • mj April 26, 2016 at 7:37 pm #

      You are most welcome and thanks so much!! I have some leftover filo in the fridge, so my Friday night meal will be filo with roasted red or green chile and something else. Maybe leftover roast chicken? Your green chile filo looks fabulous! Need to try the rolls next. Thanks Sweetie! That’s funny that you are eating and reading filo. 🙂

  19. John/Kitchen Riffs April 25, 2016 at 8:34 am #

    I love pies made out of dark, leafy greens! Or other veggies. Really tasty, and good for you. Never thought of using phyllo, though. Great idea! Lightens it up. Really super recipe — thanks.

    • mj April 26, 2016 at 7:32 pm #

      They’re good aren’t they? 🙂 Of course we like greens in about anything. Thanks for the comments John!

  20. Deb|EastofEdenCooking April 25, 2016 at 8:08 am #

    What a wonderful way to enjoy filo! I’m going to try this fabulous recipe as soon as my chard plants start producing!

    • mj April 26, 2016 at 7:31 pm #

      Home grown Swiss chard…awesome! We grew it last year, but haven’t gotten it into the ground yet this year. Still working on the garden beds Hope yours is productive and that you do give this a try. It’s really, really good! 🙂

  21. Kristy Rhine April 25, 2016 at 6:54 am #

    This looks delightful!! YUMMY!

    • mj April 26, 2016 at 7:29 pm #

      Thanks Kristy! Thanks for stopping by!

  22. Shashi @ RunninSrilankan April 25, 2016 at 6:51 am #

    Mj, encrusting Swiss chard, raisins, pine nuts, olives, herbs, ricotta and feta in phyllo crust sounds so wonderful!

    • mj April 26, 2016 at 7:29 pm #

      Thanks so much Shashi!

  23. Angie@Angie's Recipes April 25, 2016 at 2:26 am #

    We too appreciate and prefer filo pastry because of its lightness. The double cheese Swiss chard filling with olives and herbs sounds really inviting, MJ.

    • mj April 26, 2016 at 7:29 pm #

      Thanks so much Angie! I can’t believe I waited so long to give phyllo a try! It’s fun and tasty!

Please comment to Soni