I’m back from my trip to Greece and I have a delicious recipe to share with you.
While I was there, I had the pleasure of sampling some amazing Greek cuisine, but one dish stood out above all the rest – Kleftiko.
This savory pie was filled with gruyere cheese, lamb, and mixed vegetables, and served with creamy yogurt.
It was so delicious that I knew I had to make it for all of you at home.
Kleftiko is traditionally made with puff pastry or filo pastry, but since puff pastry can be quite high in carbohydrates and fat, I decided to use filo pastry.
It’s thin and elegant, and you end up using a small amount of it, making it a healthier option. Plus, it gives the pie a crispy texture that’s irresistible.
You can use any kind of meat for this recipe, or even make it vegetarian.
I used some classic Greek vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, spinach, and tomatoes, but you can use whatever vegetables are in season or that you have on hand.
This recipe is also a great way to use up any meat and vegetable leftovers you may have in your refrigerator.
I hope you’ll try this recipe and enjoy a little taste of Crete in your own kitchen.
Let me know how it turns out and happy cooking!
Greek Kleftiko Loaded
- 1 aubergine
- 1 zucchini
- 450 g spinach, frozen is fine
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 4.5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 10 small tomatoes
- 1.5 fennel tops (green part) – this is optional since the flavour is very distinct, but an unique Crete pie ingredient
- 200 g gruyere
- 400 g leftover meat, e.g. tender, lamb, beef or chicken
- 2 tbsp butter/olive oil
- Juice & zest from 1 organic lemon
- Salt & pepper
- 30 sheets of filo pastry
- Melted butter or olive oil
- Start with preparing the vegetables for the filling. Cut zucchini and aubergine into small squares (1 x 1 cm). Heat a large skillet, add butter/oil and saut © the squares on medium heat until tender, this will take around 20 min.
- Add garlic halfway through and season with salt, pepper and lemon. Transfer to a bowl and wipe the skillet clean.Add butter and onion to the skillet. Saut © for 5 min. Add spinach and saut © until collapsed (or defrozen), add a little water if necessary if you are using frozen spinach. Season with salt, pepper and lemon.
- Chop up the tomatoes and slice the gruyere into smaller bits. Make sure the meat is in small bits as well – and hopefully well seasoned and tender.
- Preheat oven to 200 °C /400 °F (with fan). On a clean surface lay out as many spring roll sheets as possible, brush the sheets with melted butter or olive oil (plenty). If you want you can add two buttered sheets to each pie, this will give your an even crispier and delicious pie, but if you are watching those carbs simply use one.
- Place a little of each type of filling in the middle of each sheet. Take all the corners and gently fold the sheet around the filling making a little bag with a fluffy top (see pictures), squeeze a little to keep the shape and place each pie on a lined baking sheet. Bake the pies for 10-15 min, until golden, you should watch them carefully.
- Serve the crispy pies straight away with a dollop of greek yoghurt or a delicious greek salad with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta, olives and a drizzle of lemon juice & olive oil – Enjoy!