Marathopites, a traditional Cretan recipe

Marathopites, traditional Cretan pies

There are some Cretan flavors that take a while to prepare but it is worth your time and effort. One of those is marathopita from the Cretan herb Marathos (whose aroma is incredible) made into a pie.
For Cretans, local herbs and greens are valuable food in everyday dinner table, so women of Crete came up with hundreds of ways of making pies. With thick or thin pie sheets, round or squared pies, sweet or sour pies, in the oven or fried ones with Cretan olive oil.
But what matters the most is the procedure of collecting the herbs by yourself: a small knife, a bag and a walk in the fields outside of the village is enough to find anything you need and more to make a green pie! It does not bother the Cretans to do so, it is amusing and fun and worthwhile our time. The big advantage of the Greek soil is that during winter till summer a variety of herbs appear.

You need

  • 600-700 grams flour
  • 200 ml water
  • 50 ml Cretan olive oil
  • 30 ml Cretan raki
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 bunches marathos
  • 500 grams of other greens and herbs like spinach, wild leeks or wild celery, mironia or seskoula)
  • 1 big red onion
  • 100 ml Cretan olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


In a bowl mix the flour with the salt, the olive oil, the raki and the lemon juice. Add water slowly and make the pastry, it must not be sticky, it has to be soft not hard. Leave it to rest for a while. Rinse all the greens and cut them in small pieces and leave them to dry out. In a deep frying pan heat up the olive oil and put the onion in small pieces with the celery and leeks. After a few minutes add the marathos and the rest of your herbs with salt and pepper. 10 minutes after that turn it off and put them in a strainer to remove all the moisture.

Make 20 small balls with the pastry. Each one of them must be made into a thin round pie sheet. Put some of the herbs from the strainer inside and cover it with another round pie sheet and stick the edges of the two pie sheets together using your fingers. Put it in a frying pan with hot olive oil and turn it around again and again till it has this beautiful golden colour we all know and love.