Cretan Recipes

Kaltsounia

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Kaltsounia

Kalitsounia (Greek: καλιτσούνια) are small cheese or herb pies associated with the Greek island of Crete. They resemble a common cheese or stuffed pie with the principal difference of its filling and serving variations. So, in Chania we find the salty kalitsounia, stuffed with the local, mild cheese, mizithra or various herbs from the Cretan land (without cheese) and the sweet kalistounia, also stuffed with mizithra but poured with honey on top.

This is unique delicacy served in the entire island and throughout Chania prefecture, from popular restaurants in Chania town to small mountainous villages. There is also another version of kalitsounia made with dough and not fillo pastry (very thin sheet of dough), stuffed also with mizithra and cinnamon. Kalitsounia can be either baked or fried depending on whether they are made with dough or thin fillo pastry.

Wash spinach well and chop. Put in an empty pot and cook for 5 minutes, until it shrivels, squeeze it dry with your hands and transfer it into a bowl.

Add the finely chopped onion, salt, pepper, spearmint, olive oil and mix. Roll out a pastry sheet in the size of a saucer. Fill each leaf with one tablespoon of the prepared filling, fold it, seal well and fry in hot oil on both sides, or bake in the oven at 180oC.

If you bake the kalitsounia in the oven, brush them with beaten yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds beforehand.