Sunday, February 24, 2013

Green Pie at the Grow Hawaiian Festival

This weekend we enjoyed the Grow Hawaiian Festival held at the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Gardens. In addition to enjoying the garden itself, packed full of native and canoe plants, the festival hosted lei making, poi pounding, plant identification booths, a seed exchange, and of course a recipe contest.

Lei making at the Grow Hawaiian Fest
The idea was to come up with a dish that included as many locally grown foods as possible. If you have hung around this blog for any length of time, you know that I'm WAY into growing, eating, and cooking with locally harvested goodies. The recipe exchange and contest was hosted by Feed Hawaii, an organization that supports food security.

Me with recipe contest prizes (fruit!)
Because there were only a few of us that entered the contest, we were all winners! The real prize was sharing our recipes and spreading the word that eating local matters. Particularly in Hawaii, where most people depend on shipped-in foods, and prices are extremely high because of it, we need to make an effort to buy local when we can.

And guess what? You don't need to have a garden and you don't need to shop at a farmer's market to achieve this goal. Everything in the recipe below was purchased at my local grocery store. If you keep your eyes peeled, you'll see that there many locally grown and made items on offer at the store including produce, milk, cheese, tea, coffee, nuts, oil, and meats. Do the islands a favor and add a locally grown product to your grocery list, it's an easy way to preserve this land we love. End rant. See recipe below.

Big Island Green Pie

Big Island Green Pie
Serves 8 as an appetizer

·      2 pounds Big Island greens (I used a mix of spinach, kale, and taro leaves. You could also use chard or collards.)
·      2 island grown green onions
·      ½ cup island grown flat leaf parsley
·      5 oz Big Island goat cheese
·      2 farm fresh eggs
·      Salt & pepper to taste
·      1 package phyllo dough (not a local product)
·      1/3 cup olive oil (not a local product)

Preheat oven to 350. Steam veggies until just wilted, strain and squeeze to remove excess liquid. If using taro leaves, choose young ones and be sure to steam for at least 15 minutes to avoid itchy mouth when eating. Chop.

In a medium bowl add chopped greens, chopped green onion, chopped parsley, cheese, and slightly beaten eggs. Add salt & pepper to taste and stir to combine.

Oil an 8x8 inch baking dish. Cut 12 pieces of phyllo dough to fit dish, taking care to cover the dough as you’re working so it doesn’t dry out. Place one piece of phyllo down in the dish, and brush with oil. Repeat this until you have 6 layers.

Spread greens mixture evenly over layers. Layer 6 more phyllo sheets over the greens, taking care to oil each one.

Bake for 30-50 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting into squares. Enjoy!


  1. Way to go Gwen! Love it:)

  2. I am SO doing this! This is going to sound silly probably, but did you put the greens in a towel to squeeze them? How aggressive do you need to get with the squeezing?

    1. You will love it! It is basically my version of spanakopita. I just squeezed the greens with my hands, not very aggressively, they don't need to be bone dry, just so that most of the moisture come out. Enjoy!


Aloha Saturdays with Maggy reader! Thank you for your comments, I love hearing your thoughts and feedback.


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