Swiss Chard & Sweet Corn “Spanakopita”

        From the blog For Love of the Table

When I made this, I only made one roll/pie…but it really makes more sense to make two.  As I mentioned in the text, my bunch of chard was very large—really half again as large as a typical bunch.  If you purchase 3 bunches of chard, you will mostly likely have the 1 lb. of cleaned greens needed to make two pies/rolls. (For one roll, you would need 1 1/2…)   The other reason that I wanted to post the recipe for two rolls instead of one, is that two rolls will use exactly a half box of phyllo—and most boxes of phyllo contain two inner packages that can be thawed and used separately.  If I had only posted the recipe as I made it (for one roll) a quarter pound of thawed phyllo would have been left over… causing a similar issue to the one that made me go looking for a recipe in the first place….


2 T. olive oil

1 large or 2 medium onions (about 10 oz. total), diced

Salt & pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T. to 2 T. minced fresh oregano

1 T. butter

2 c. fresh corn (cut from 2 large ears)

1 lb. stemmed and cleaned chard (from 3 bunches), leaves cut into rough 1-inch wide strips

2 eggs, beaten

4 oz. Feta, crumbled

1/4 c. (3/4 oz.) finely grated Parmesan

1/2 lb. thawed phyllo (18 9 x 14 sheets)

8 T. butter, melted


Warm the olive oil in a wide sauté pan—preferably one with deeper sides and a tight fitting lid.  Add the onions and a good pinch of salt a cook over moderate heat until the onions are soft and just beginning to caramelize (about 15 minutes).  Add the garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant.  Add the butter and when it has melted, add the corn and cook until the corn is hot and sizzling.  Begin to add the chard a handful at a time, turning with tongs to coat in the fat and vegetables and adding successive handfuls as the chard collapses.  (If the chard is dry, add a splash of water to the pan—otherwise, the water clinging to the leaves from washing will be sufficient to facilitate the cooking process.) When all the chard has been added, season lightly with salt, cover the pan and cook over low heat until the chard has completely collapsed and is tender.  Uncover the chard, taste and correct the seasoning.  Continue to cook until any excess moisture has evaporated.  Set the chard and corn mixture aside and cool to room temperature.


In a large bowl, combine the cooled chard, the eggs, Feta and Parmesan.  Taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.  You are now ready to build the rolls.


To form the rolls, lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter.  Lay the stack of phyllo on top of the plastic and cover with another sheet of plastic, lightly pressing the edges to seal.  It is important as you work with the phyllo that you keep it covered at all times.  It dries out very quickly and is impossible to work with once it dries out.  Some people cover the phyllo with a damp towel instead of plastic wrap, but I think this makes the phyllo soggy.


Lay one sheet of phyllo on your work surface with the long side parallel to the edge of the counter.  Brush the sheet lightly with butter (don't overdo it or the finished pie will be greasy instead of crisp and light).  Place another sheet of phyllo on top of the first.  Brush lightly with more butter.  Repeat with seven more sheets of phyllo for a total of nine layers.


Arrange half the chard filling down the center third of the buttered phyllo, leaving an inch of so free of filling at both ends.  Fold one of the long edges up and over and then fold the other up and over—overlapping the other edge by about an inch.  Brush the surface with butter and roll the log over so the seam is down.  Transfer to one side of a parchment-lined baking sheet, keeping the seam side down and brushing the top and sides with more butter.  Pinch the ends…or fold and tuck under slightly.  It isn’t necessary that this be beautiful—you just want to discourage the filling from oozing out the ends while the rolls cook.


Repeat this process with the remaining filling and another nine sheets of phyllo, placing the second roll on the same baking sheet as the first.  Make sure there are several inches between the two rolls so that they will be able to brown on all sides as they cook.  Using a sharp knife, make 7 or 8 diagonal cuts on the top of each roll (cutting just deeply enough to go through all 9 layers of phyllo and expose the filling).      


Transfer the phyllo rolls to a 375° oven and bake until they are golden brown all over and the filling is bubbling through the slashes….about 40 to 45 minutes. 


Cool slightly before serving. Using a serrated knife, trim away the ends.  Then, cut the rolls on the diagonal to portion.  Each roll will serve 3 as an entrée and 6 to 8 as an appetizer.