Saturday, November 12, 2011

Greek Yogurt and Nasturtium Pie

This pie is kind of a token to both sides of my family: the Greek yogurt and phyllo from my Greek side and the Nasturtiums from my American side. I mostly talk about my Greek side because that is easy, since my dad is the only one that left Greece, there are still strong ties of Hellenism. However, I am also third generation Californian and proud of my American roots. 

Whenever I think of Nasturtiums, I think of my grandfather and his backyard, which is full of these flowers. Have you ever seen a 6'4" bean pole 93 year old walking around with a pirate patch on one eye? Well, that's my grandpa. His house (and his backyard) in Huntington Beach has been a beacon for family gatherings since before my existence. My parents got married in front of the fireplace (and celebrated in the backyard) and so did my Aunt Edna and Uncle George (I was the flower girl). I was most likely conceived in this house.

We moved around a lot when I was a kid, but no matter what, my Grandpa's house always stayed the same and was always there. Earth tone mustard yellow carpets, dark wood walls, smells of must, an ancient cookie jar always filled with fresh faux oreos. Practically everyone has lived with him at one point in their life. He still has shag carpet in one of the upstairs rooms and all my Aunt Carol's crazy oil paintings from the 1970s. He doesn't throw away anything. He gets high off cutting coupons and keeping his 20 year old coffee maker alive.  

As a child of the depression and son of a beekeeper from Ohio, my grandfather managed to make it out West to Cal Tech for graduate school. He became an Angeleno back in the 1930s. He married my 5'11" grandmother and one of their presents was a boysenberry branch from a friend's Victory garden. This branch has now grown to cover the entire perimeter of my grandfather's backyard, producing the most prolific berries I've ever had. My grandfather is constantly growing goodies in the backyard and the Nasturtiums have always been there. I miss my grandfather, and he is not doing too hot these days so I made this pie with him in mind. You know, pour out a little liqueur...

This savory pie is mild in order to allow the mellow pepper and spice from the Nasturtium to shine. It's best served cooled to allow the savory custard to set. I used Fage yogurt because this is the best Greek yogurt you can buy commercially in the west coast of the U.S. 

Greek Yogurt and Nasturtium Pie

10 sheets of phyllo, thawed
1/3 cup melted butter 
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups Greek Yogurt (I used Fage 2% fat)
1/2 cup shredded fontina
1/2 cup grated parmesan 
15-20 Nasturtium blossoms (they shrink up in the oven)

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine yogurt, eggs and cheeses in a bowl.
  • In a greased deep pie dish, begin layering phyllo leaves with sprinklings of butter. Once finished pour cheese mixture into pie. Top with Nasturtiums.
  • Fold phyllo leaves around edge to form a crust. 
  • Drizzle the crust with extra butter/oil. 
  • Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.

"As part of the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program, I have been entered for the chance to win a trip to Greece courtesy of FAGE. You too can enter to win one of three trips to Greece by entering the FAGE Plain Extraordinary Greek Getaway here:"


Anonymous said...

This is such a great combination.Looks very yummy:)

mia xara said...

Always creative recipes,Anna!I wouldn't find any flowers in our chilly temperatures,I would gladly have a piece of your pie though! Enjoy the weekend,XO

emiglia said...

I love your description of your grandfather... very vivid! And this pie looks gorgeous.

Lenia said...

You are really creative,dear!Great pie!Filakia!

Helen said...

That pie is gorgeous!!! Amazingly beautiful in a rustic wayl!!! What did it taste like? Such a great story about your family roots. I really enjoyed reading it. Great writing too!

Peter M said...

Very creative...yep. you're the spawn of flower children!

Anh said...

Your pie is like a dream! love love!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

All I have is a small patio garden, or lets say patio pots but nasturtiums grow very well. I love them in my salads but have never thought to add them to other dishes.

DancerKitchen said...

Anna! This looks amazing! It was so nice meeting you in San Francisco.....I need to come back to PDX!

Anonymous said...

I've been entering the Fage contest too! I hope at least one of us win xD

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a fantastic pie! A heavenly combination. I wish I could taste it...



Mary Bergfeld said...

Your pie looks wonderful but your memories of your grandfather are a real treasure. Good luck with the contest. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Banana Wonder said...

Dzoli - Thanks, gotta love flowers and yogo.

Mia Xara - Same goes here in Oregon. Luckily I made this pie in August when it was still warm. Memories!

Emiglia - Thanks, you know how grandparents are ;-)

Lenia - Efxaristw!

Helen - Thanks, it was like a mild savory light custard. Would pair well with a white wine or something bubbly. A little pepper in there from the flowers.

Peter - Haha true dat!

Anh - Thanks so much, you have the same name as my sister in law too.

bellini - I bet you could bake those bad boys up.

Betsy - Thanks, yes please come back to pdx and we'll have a rager at the farmers market.

SA - kali tixi!

Mary - Thanks, I sure do miss him!

elly said...

You always make the best fusion foods! This looks great, and so pretty.

Ruth Abatzoglou said...

Very creative Anna, I will share this article with Grandpa. He will Love it. It probably has a lot of great nutrients too.

Love Mom