Preveza

Batsaria from Preveza (greens pie)

The most popular traditional Epirotic greens pie in its Prevezian version.
Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-Batsaria from Preveza (greens pie)
Before cooking...

Garden leafy greens, wild greens, and seasonal herbs have always been a highly-nutritious and cost-efficient resource for people in the countryside, the plains, or the mountains. A simple way for traditional homemakers to turn up a satisfying meal from a few vegetables was to combine them with a quick batter. That’s how the batsaria, blatsaria, or blatsara was born and spawned countless versions with different names.

Batsaria from Preveza (greens pie)

Ingredients

Pies like batsaria stemmed from the need to fix a flavorful and beneficial dish with whatever raw materials were available. So, your greens of choice and their quantities depend on your preferences or what you can find in the garden or the market. For instance, this batsaria contains green garlic, which can only be found in the middle of spring. Another version is made exclusively with scallions which were usually abundant in every garden.

  • 1,5 kg greens and herbs (spinach, Swiss chard, leek, scallions, green garlic, chervil, Mediterranean hartwort, dill, and fennel)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 500 g feta cheese, crumbles
  • 1 kg all-purpose flour
  • Water (as needed)
  • Salt (to preference)
  • Πιπέρι (to preference)

Note: Rice is an essential ingredient because it absorbs the excess liquids and bolsters the filling. Alternatively, you can use trahanas or bulgur.

Execution

  1. Wash the greens thoroughly. Soak them in water for a few minutes, change the water, and repeat 3-4 times until it’s clear. Rinse the greens well, dry them in a colander, and finely chop them.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs until mixed.
  3. In a large bowl, stir the chopped greens, the crumbled feta, the olive oil, the beaten eggs, the rice, the salt, and the pepper.
  4. In another large bowl, mix the flour with a bit of salt. Slowly add water and mix constantly until you have a thin batter.
  5. Set the oven to “upper and lower heat” and preheat it to 180 °C.
  6. Brush a baking pan with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with flour. Spread half the batter evenly. Spread the filling evenly. Cover with the remaining batter.
  7. Place the pan on the lower rack and bake for 1 hour (approximately) until the top is golden brown.
  8. Let the batsaria cool for a bit and serve.

Batsaria is one of the simplest and most nutritional pies of the traditional Epirotic cuisine. Taste it, and you’ll realize the gastronomical value hidden in the most humble materials and the plainest preparations.

After cooking...

Today, Preveza and Action are the two guardian cities of a vast and utterly invaluable natural habitat. In the Amvrakikos Gulf, with its 20 lagoons and countless fiords, hundreds of rare or threatened species live or migrate — among them 150 adorable dolphins. Follow the Amvrakikos coastline, and you’ll lose yourself in a breathtaking landscape, an everlasting source of life for plants, stock, and men alike.

Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-After cooking...