Now let me make this clear – this is a strictly vegetable pie and there are no “funny” ingredients in this recipe, I promise. Read along:
What you need for two-three is:
For the homemade phyllo dough (if you don’t feel confident enough to try kneading this on you own you can always get some from the shop):
400 g of all purpose flour
4 tbsp vegetable oil
pinch of salt
2 pinches of thyme
1 teacup warm water
a rolling pin and a pastry brush (these two can be replaced by a clean bottle of wine and your palms)
300 g potatoes
one average beetroot
250 g spinach leaves
1 tbsp dried thyme
grounded black pepper
Let’s start with the dough…
…because there’s a secret I’ve learned from my granny and it is that when left to rest for 20 minutes, the phyllo dough becomes more supple and easier to knead and flatten. Grannies are always right when it comes to pastry, at least where I come from.
Put the flour in a bowl, form a small well in middle. Pour in the oil, the salt and the thyme and mix with a fork until absorbed. Then start slowly adding the water and continue mixing. When it becomes too difficult, start using your hands.
Continue kneading it for several minutes. The dough should be soft but not too sticky. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and leave aside.
Now the veggies.
Wash all the veggies, chop the spinach, put it in a pot bring to boiling and cook for 5-6 minutes. Then pour out the water and let it drain.
Peel the potatoes and the beet, and grape them in separate recipients. Put all aside. There will be some liquid coming out of the veggies – just remove it.
Flattening the dough – separate it in two parts (volume 2:1), the larger part will be used as a bed for the pie, the smaller as a cover.
Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and use first your palms to form a disc of the larger part of the dough, then the rolling pin to get a nice circular form. It should get 1/4 larger that the bottom of the pan you’ll be baking the pie in. As for the thickness – you should be able to see the light through, but be careful not to tear it.
Do the same to the smaller part of the dough as well and put aside.
Use the pastry bush to cover the bottom of the same pan with some vegetable oil and put in carefully the flattened dough.
It’s time to add the veggies! You can certainly use your imagination to arrange the filling as you wish. I decided to put it in three layers – green/yellow/pink so it would look like the Ethiopian flag and this where Jah comes from. 🙂
Now here’s my way:
Put in the beet, distribute it evenly and sprinkle with the pepper and the thyme.
Put in the potatoes and do the same, finish with the spinach and cover with the remaining flattened dough.
Bend the bits of dough towards the inside and use the pastry brush to smear the surface with a thin layer of oil.
Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. Take the pie out, sprinkle some water on it and cover with a clean towel. Leave it this way until it’s cold.
Use a sharp knife to cut it in a shape you like.
Vegan is Good!