Fennel and Herb Phyllo Pastries (Hortopita)

Fennel and Herb Phyllo Pastries (Hortopita)

These Greek pastries unite a buttery crust with bright-tasting fennel and feta cheese. We featured this recipe—from home cooks Ruth Honegger and Marino Pascal—as part of our special LA issue (March 2010).James Oseland

These Greek pastries unite a buttery crust with bright-tasting fennel and feta cheese. We featured this recipe—from home cooks Ruth Honegger and Marino Pascal—as part of our special LA issue (March 2010).

Fennel and Herb Phyllo Pastries (Hortopita)
These Greek pastries unite a buttery crust with bright-tasting fennel and feta.
Yield: makes 10-12 PASTRIES

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard (about 1 3⁄4 lbs.), stemmed and chopped
  • 12 small white onion, minced
  • 12 small bulb fennel (with stalks and fronds), minced
  • 3 oz. feta, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (16-oz.) package frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12" nonstick skillet over high heat. Working in 2 batches, add chard and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Transfer chard to a large sieve and press with a wooden spoon to extract excess liquid; set aside.
  2. Return skillet to medium-high heat and add remaining oil. Add onions and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 20 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to a bowl; stir in chard, feta, parsley, and scallions. Season filling with salt and pepper; let chill.
  3. Heat oven to 375°. Cut stacked phyllo lengthwise into 4 12"-wide strips; cover with a damp towel. Set aside. Put 1 strip phyllo on a surface and brush with some of the butter; top with another strip and brush with more butter. Repeat once more. Put 13 cup filling on one end of strip 1" from the end. Fold in a corner of that end to form a triangle. Then fold in that triangular edge to form another triangle; continue folding as you would a flag, until you have a triangular pastry. Transfer pastry to a baking sheet. Repeat; brush pastries with remaining butter. Bake until golden brown, 18–20 minutes.