If someone asks me, which is my favorite recipe ever, my answer will be without any doubt “Pispili”. It is a traditional dish cooked in many regions of Albania in different ways, but they all have something in common, they are made of corn-meal and leafy green vegetables. Even the name differs from region to region, you may find it under the name “Pispili”, “Brushull”, “Pacarak” and possibly many more names, that I haven’t heard.
My mom makes an amazing Pispili, almost every time I go to see her. So, I basically eat Pispili every week. The recipe has evolved through years. We now use polenta instead of cornmeal and also add some feta cheese.
The recipe is very easy to follow, the hardest part is to clean the greens 😛 We use spinach and spring onions, but you may use whatever greens you like, sorrel, nettles etc. I sometimes like to add mint for some extra flavor. You may even replace the spring onions with leeks, but personally, I do not like it.
If you’re looking for a light and healthy dinner, do not miss Pispili. It pairs perfectly with yogurt and is better eaten fresh, but in case there are some leftovers they still taste great, the other day warmed in the toaster.
Pispili - Albanian cornmeal flatbread with green leafs
- 500 g spinach
- 500 g spring onions
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1 bunch of dill
- 100 g of feta cheese
- 6 tbs olive oil
- 1 & ½ cup (240 g) polenta
- 1 tsp salt (you may use more or less, according to your taste)
- ½ tsp pepper (you may use more or less, according to your taste)
- Clean and chop the spinach, parsley, dill, and onions, but keep them separate.
- In a heavy bottom pan, cook the spring onion, over medium-high heat with 1 tbs olive oil for about 10-15 minutes.
- Lower the heat, to medium heat, and add the spinach and cook it for 10 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven and prepare a pie plate, by spreading a drizzle of olive oil, so Brushull doesn’t stick in the pan.
- Check if most of the liquids of the mixture of onions with spinach have been absorbed and if not cook for 5-10 more minutes in medium heat.
- Add the chopped parsley and dill and mix well.
- Add the crumbled feta, polenta, salt and pepper and mix again.
- At the end add 5 tbs of olive oil and mix.
- Pour the mixture into a 20 cm round pan and bake in the preheated oven, at 180 degrees Celsius, for around 30-40 min.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for around 15-20 minutes, before cutting and serving it.
Note: 1 cup – a standard cup of 240 ml