Many people gather dandelions to make these simple pastries in Lebanon, which it has to be said would be made in much larger batches than our recipe allows for. The recipe quantity is simply determined by the relatively small amounts of each plant which if you can; go out and forage more of! The other option is to substitute spinach or chard for the wild leaves, or make a few sweet pies filled with grated apples, ricotta and dark brown sugar.
Making the Pastry
Ingredients (makes 5 pies):
1/3 teaspoon dried yeast
A pinch of sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt, in 50ml warm water
50g dandelion leaves
50g ribwort plantain leaves
½ small onion, finely chopped
a grind of pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1. Dissolve the yeast, sugar and salt in the water then bit by bit add the flour and knead for a few minutes on a board dusted with flour.
2. Divide the dough into 5 pieces and leave covered under a damp cloth.
3. Boil the dandelion and plantain leaves for 3 minutes then drain and squeeze out excess water; chop and season with salt.
4. Fry the onion until transparent then add the dandelion and fry gently for a further 10 minutes.
5. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg then leave to cool.
6. Add the cheese, lemon juice and half a tablespoon of olive oil.
Assembling and cooking the pies
1. Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Make each piece into a ball, then roll out on a surface dusted with flour, roll out into an 8cm diameter disc and divide the filling equally.
2. With a dollop of filling in the centre of each disc, fold up the edges in 3 places, making the base into a triangle.
3. Pinch together the edges to seal the pies then bake at 220 degrees c for about 15 minutes, until light brown.