Succulents and wine tasting

Last weekend, we had to do our usual wine pickup and this time we brought friends. I needed the sunshine – it’s been damp and cold in Santa Barbara – and Mr. Man needed sunshine period. The guy hasn’t been out of doors for more than 10 minutes since the winter break.

I tried a new recipe – similar to spanikopita but called hortopeta. I used the super thin phyllo sheets which I hadn’t done in years. I stepped away from just spinach and used all the greens: kale, chard, and spinach.

The recipe called for brushing butter onto the sheets but I felt using olive oil would suit the recipe better so that’s what I used. Layers and layers of phyllo and olive oil. I put crunchy sea salt on the bottom of the pan before the phyllo thinking it would add a level of crunch to the bottom layer. It didn’t but I think I know why.

Sauteed the greens with diced shallots (less harsh than garlic).

Mixed lots of feta cheese with a couple of eggs.

Mixed it all together.

Layered the greens and cheese mixture onto the brushed phyllo sheets.

Added additional layers of phyllo and olive oil, then another layer of greens. Kept layering on phyllo until I used the package. Brushed the top with olive oil and cracked salt onto it. Baked it for an hour.

The top turned out golden and crunchy. Overall it was delicious. I served it with a dill and cucumber tzaziki-like sauce.

Here’s what I did wrong: I used too small a pan. The amount of phyllo sheets and greens could have been layered across a larger space which would have meant a thinner treat. As it was, it was as thick as lasagna. It was delicious, don’t get me wrong, but I’ll have to try it again with a larger spread so that the layers are thinner and the pieces can be picked up and munched.

That said, we ate nearly all of it at Rideau’s vineyard while tasting wines. This is the aftermath of the picnic lunch – strawberries, cherry tomatoes, hortopeta and olives. Very healthy.

After we headed back into Los Olivos we visited this amazing succulent place which I had never seen before. It was a magical place. I loved the mixed media – plants and wine corks and beach driftwood and ceramics …








Fun afternoon. We headed back down the hill for some port and chocolate before bed.

fourteenergirl Written by:

A mother, sister, wife, and daughter who writes, knits, hikes, and practices yoga on the west coast. Loves a zippy chardonnay or a tart margarita!

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