Baked Greek Omelette with Wild Greens, Herbs, Leeks and Feta
The Greeks call the greens and herbs they gather from the hills and mountains, especially in spring, by the general name of horta. In the market in Corfu town I met a lady called Effie who was selling wild greens. She had spent twenty years as a hairdresser in Melbourne and appeared to have come home mainly because she couldn’t gather her beloved wild chicories, thistles, peas, poppies and sow’s thistle in Australia. We went picking on a sunny spring morning in a meadow splashed with the reds, yellows and blues of wild flowers, against a background of cypress trees and mountains. I was back in Cornwall a month later when our wild greens were about as advanced. Walking through the meadows beyond the church at Morwenstow, with a beautiful view of the bay beyond, I noticed lots of the plants in the hedgerow but I had no one like Effie to give me guidance as to what was good to eat. Bitter is a flavour we don’t understand much, though any member of the chicory family is naturally bitter and easy to grow. By using some ruggedly flavoured brassicas like curly kale, cavalo nero, watercress or rocket, together with members of the beet family such as chard, and some spinach or sorrel, you will get something close to the real thing. Slipping in the odd dandelion leaf and some wild garlic is also a good idea. Serve the chunky omelette with a simple tomato and onion salad and some bread.
|3 tbsp||extra virgin olive oil|
|250g||leeks, trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced|
|250g||mixed leaves (see above), washed, dried and shredded|
|8||large eggs, lightly beaten|
|3 tbsp||chopped mint|
|3 tbsp||chopped dill|
|175g||Greek feta cheese, crumbled|
|25g||grated Greek kefalotiri cheese or parmesan cheese|
|Salt and freshly ground black pepper|
You will need a shallow, round, 20cm non-stick cake tin.
Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the leeks and cook gently for 10 minutes until soft.
Add the remaining oil and the mixed leaves to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until they have wilted down and are just tender.
Tip the greens into a bowl and add the eggs, mint, dill, crumbled feta, grated kefalotiri or parmesan cheese, ½ teaspoon salt and some black pepper. Oil a shallow, round, 20-cm non-stick cake tin, pour in the mixture and bake for about 45 minutes or until just set.