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).
- 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch Swiss chard (about 1 3⁄4 lbs.), stemmed and chopped
- 1⁄2 small white onion, minced
- 1⁄2 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Heat oven to 375°. Cut stacked phyllo lengthwise into 4 1⁄2“-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 1⁄3 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.