Kale Hortopita

by Hara Dretaki

This recipe is a spin on the traditional spanakopita. It is lighter on the cheese, and is made with olive oil rather than butter. Ghee is the best oil to use with phyllo dough because it allows the sheets to separate and puff, it adds color, and its aroma is irresistible. I prefer using whole-wheat phyllo dough because it is healthier and more flavorful.


  • 8 cups kale, about 11/2 lbs., de-stemmed and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 head romaine, shredded into small pieces
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus a little more to spread on the dough
  • 2 cups leeks, washed & chopped
  • 1/2 cup scallions, sliced, white & green parts
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup parmesan, gruyere, or cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives without pits, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 farm eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 of a 16-oz package
  • whole-wheat phyllo dough, thawed
  • black pepper, to taste
Kale Hortopita

Elizabeth Cecil

Preheat the oven to 375° F, and oil a 9x13-inch baking pan. Wash the kale and romaine, no need to dry. In a large pot over medium heat, wilt the kale, stirring frequently, adding handfuls of the romaine as the cooked kale reduces in size. Cook until all the leaves have wilted and shrunken, about 10 minutes. Add the romaine and toss 5 more minutes.

Remove the greens and place them in a strainer. Squeeze excess water out really well. Transfer to a large bowl. Wipe out the pot. Pour in the oil and leeks and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the scallions and cook another 5 minutes. Add the leeks, dill, and parsley to the greens. Stir in the cheeses, olives, cornmeal, baking powder, eggs, and black pepper. Combine thoroughly. On a dry cutting board, unfold the stack of phyllo sheets. Cut them in half and place each sheet on the baking pan. Using a pastry brush, apply olive oil to the dough and then layer the filling on top. Place the second layer of dough on top and brush on the remaining oil. Next, place the dish in the oven. Bake for about an hour or until puffed with a golden crust. Cut into squares and serve hot.