Lamb’s Quarter Filo Pie

June 22nd, 2008  |  Published in All, Around the World, Most Popular, Nuanced Nuts, Veritable Vegetables, Weekend Projects, Wild Greens (Lamb's Quarter, Purslane, Sorrel)  |  19 Comments

Lamb’s Quarter Filo Pie

Lamb’s Quarter Filo Pie
based on Spinach Borek at Elra’s Baking

1/2 c. pine nuts
Olive oil
half of one small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 c. scallions, chopped
1/2 c. parsley, chopped
1 large bunch lamb’s quarter, stems removed and discarded, roughly chopped
Salt & Pepper
2 eggs
9 oz. feta, crumbled
1/2 lb Filo dough
4 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line an 8 or 9 inch pie pan with parchment paper, letting the sides hang over the edge.  Alternatively, butter a springform pan.

Prepare filling:
Heat a medium-sized chef’s pan over medium high heat.  Add pine nuts and toast for about 5 minutes, until golden.  Watch the nuts carefully as they go from golden brown to burnt and blackened in less than 2 minutes.  Reserve pine nuts.

Heat about 1/2T olive oil in chef’s pan.  Add onions and saute for 1 minute.  Add scallions and parsley, and saute for an additional 4 minutes.  Add lamb’s quarter and saute until wilted and reduced in volume, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat  and season with salt and pepper.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.  Once lamb’s quarter mixture has cooled a bit, add eggs and cheese and mix well.  Fold in pine nuts.

Prepare crust:
Unroll filo dough on a flat work surface.  Cover with a damp kitchen towel so the sheets don’t dry out.  Working quickly, lay one sheet of filo over prepared pan (edges will hang over quite a bit), then lightly brush with butter.  Repeat laying/buttering process until all the sheets are used up, changing the angle you lay the filo every time to make sure that when you fold the edges back over the entire pie will be covered.

Spread lamb’s quarter mixture evenly over the bottom of the pie, then fold overhanging filo edges and brush with remaining butter.  Bake for 35 minutes, until the filo is golden and flaky.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer pie from pan to serving platter, either by grasping overhanging parchment paper (trim away excess parchment afterward), or by removing spring-form.  Enjoy!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The more I shop at the farmer’s market, the less often I come across vegetables I’ve never seen before.  When I first started visiting the farmer’s market, I had lots of ‘first encounters’: black radishes, poblano peppers, fava beans, rapini, persimmons, kiwano melons,  and chiogga beets to name a few.  But now I’m an old hand, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen anything ‘new’.  However, I was at the farmer’s market not too long ago and I came across a huge, bouquet-like bunch of dark leafy greens I had never seen before.  I asked the woman at the vegetable stand what it was, and she answered ‘Lamb’s Quarter — we use it as a cover crop over the winter’.  I promptly bought a bunch and tucked it into my market bag

Once home I did a little research and found that lamb’s quarter can be used anywhere that you would use spinach.  And in fact, lamb’s quarter can be far more economical than spinach.  The aforementioned (huge) bunch at the farmer’s market (which weighed in at over 2 lbs) cost $1.75, whereas mature spinach was selling for $3.50/lb.  Also, though I’ve never had a problem with the astringency of spinach, many people say that lamb’s quarter is less astringent, eliminating the ‘fuzzy teeth’ feeling some people get after eating cooked spinach.

Lamb’s Quarter
Lamb’s Quarter

With this abundant bunch of lamb’s quarters, I decided to make a version of Spinach Borek, which I first saw over at Elra’s Baking.  The recipe seemed simple, elegant, and delicious.  Plus,  I had a lonely half-pakage of filo dough in the freezer that was begging to be used.  The whole thing came together in less than 30 minutes minus baking time, and the end result was fantastic.

Anyways, I encourage you to keep an eye out for this plentiful weed that is showing up more often at the farmer’s market — it’s delicious, inexpensive, and incredibly versatile.

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