It’s stinging nettle season! My Tetka taught me how to make Serbian pita using spinach many years ago. I make it all the time for my kids and they love it! I’ve adapted it to fit my herbal needs too. I substitute stinging nettle for the spinach.
Phyllo dough gives this dish a lovely flakiness that we covet in this house. Phyllo dough (filo dough) can be found in the frozen section of grocery stores. It’s often with the puff pastry sheets.
Stinging nettle is a highly nutritious wild food that strengthens bones, teeth, and hair. Nettle is a superb detox food that targets the urinary system as well.
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Although you can use crumbled feta cheese, I prefer to use the blocks because I find it more flavorful and moist. Regarding the stinging nettle, it must be blanched prior to use. Check out the instructions on blanching stinging nettle. The phyllo dough dries out quickly so cover with a cotton towel.
- 8 oz feta cheese
- 24 oz cottage cheese
- 16 ounces fresh stinging nettle
- 4 eggs
- 1 pack phyllo dough, thawed
- 3 Tablespoons nettle oil
- 1/3 – 1/2 stick of butter
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Blanch the nettle. To blanch: in a large pot boil water. Add the nettle and boil for 2 minutes. Remove and cool.
- Set the oven to 350 degrees. Divide the thawed phyllo dough into 4 groups of: 7, 6, 6, 7 sheets.
- Mix the feta, nettle, cottage cheese, eggs, baking powder, and baking soda together in a bowl. In a separate dish, melt the butter and stir in the oil.
- Sprinkle a 9 x 13 size pan with water.
- Lay a sheets of phyllo on the bottom. Brush, or sprinkle, with the butter mixture oil. Repeat until you’ve laid 7 sheets of phyllo down. Add 1/3 of the cheese & nettle mixture.
- Repeat #5 using only 6 sheets. You will do this twice.
- Top with remaining sheets of phyllo dough. Give the top layer a nice generous amount of butter and oil.
- Pre-cut the pita into 12 squares. This is important because the phyllo dough is flaky when baked making it difficult to cut and keep the texture.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before re-cutting along the cut areas.
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