Zagori

Batsaria (greens pie)

The traditional Epirotic wild greens batter pie in one of its most generous versions.
Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-Batsaria (greens pie)
Before cooking...

Seasonal wild and garden greens, dairy products, and cereal were the raw materials always available to the people of the Epirus mountains. The fastest and most efficient way to combine them was an effortless batter pie, which comes in multiple local versions and has many different names. Across Epirus, people called it batsaria, blatsaria, or blatsara.

Batsaria (greens pie)

Ingredients

This variant of the batsaria is one of the most plentiful in seasonal greens, herbs, and dairy products.

For the filling:

  • 1 ½ kg greens (Swiss chard, spinach, wild greens, leeks)
  • ¼ bunch of parsley
  • ¼ bunch of dill
  • ¼ bunch of spearmint
  • 500 gr feta cheese, crumbled
  • 200 gr olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup of trahanas
  • Salt (to preference)

For the batter:

  • 1 kg sheep milk (or blended sheep and goat milk)
  • 200 gr myzithra cheese
  • 200 gr sheep yogurt
  • 300 gr corn flour
  • 150 gr butter
  • Water (as needed)
  • Salt (to preference)

Note: Use a shallow baking pan (Epirotes used the traditional “sini”) to make the batter pie thin and crunchy. If you only have a deep baking pan, then make sure that, when spread, the batter isn’t more than 1 cm in height.

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 cooking pot, heat the milk, add the corn flour and the butter, and mix until they dissolve. Remove from the heat, add the yogurt and the myzithra cheese, and mix until you have a thick batter.
  3. Set the oven to “upper and lower heat” and preheat it to 180 °C.
  4. Brush a shallow baking pan with olive oil. Spread the batter evenly, but keep a couple of tablespoons aside. Spread the greens evenly on the batter. Dilute the remaining batter with water and spread over the filling.
  5. Place the pan on the lower rack and bake for 1 hour (approximately) until the top is golden brown.
  6. Let the batsaria cool for a bit and serve.

This generous dairy-packed pie incorporates all the aromas and flavors of the Epirotic mountainous countryside, enough to take you on a sensory trip to Epirus of old.

After cooking…

Only a few kilometers from Preveza lies Kamarina, one of the many Epirotic villages blessed with breathtaking panoramic views and rich historical heritage. In nearby Zalongo, 60 legendary heroines from Souli jumped off the cliff with their children lest they be captured by the Ottomans. Today, their “Dance” of martyrdom has been immortalized on the rock’s edge by the famous sculptor George Zongolopoulos.

Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-After cooking…