I made a pispilita pie last week at Borough Market’s Demo Kitchen. A unique, rustic pie from Thessaly, very easy to make but yet very delicious and comforting. Cornmeal is a very common ingredient in Balkan Peninsula, east Africa and Italy, and is a great substitute for flour. In the old days cornmeal based dishes used to nourish people in times of hunger whether caused by extreme poverty or by war.


For the filling:
400g seasonal greens, baby spinach, chard or beetroot greens, sorrel, or a combination, stemmed (if needed), washed thoroughly and chop medium-fine
1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped
5 spring onions, washed and finely chopped
1 bunch of dill, washed and finely chopped
4 spring of fresh mint, pick leaves, wash and finely chopped
150g feta, crumbled
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried spearmint
1 tsp of sweet paprika
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper

For the crust:
2 tsp of butter
100g whole milk
60g extra virgin olive oil
200g water (add more if needed)
320 fine cornmeal
1 large egg
50g feta, crumbled
½ tsp dried spearmint

Butter, for greasing
Extra virgin olive oil, for greasing and frying


Preheat the oven to 200C. Butter and oil your pie dish.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a large pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender—about 5 mins. If you are using chard or regular spinach, add them to the pan and cook for another min. Remove from the heat and add the rest of the filling ingredients. Toss everything together, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Now make the crust. In a bowl, combine the egg, milk and olive oil. Whisk and gradually add the cornmeal, then gradually add 200g water, until you create a kind porridge consistency—add more water if needed. Add 30g of the crumbled feta, the spearmint and salt and mix well.

Place half of the crust mixture in your buttered and oiled baking dish. Moisten your hands and spread the cornmeal mixture over the bottom of the pan in a thin, even layer.

Spread the greens over the cornmeal bottom crust in an even layer. Dilute the remaining cornmeal mixture with water until it is the consistency of wet sand. Spoon it over the greens and spread in an even layer. Add the remaining feta and drizzle with some olive oil.

Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour, until the top has browned.

Feeds 6-8