Artichoke Pie (αγκιναρόπιτα-της-Τήνου)

Another island in the Cyclades of Greece is Tinos. Tinos is the island just before reaching party-central Mykonos.

The contrast in vacationers that attend both islands is that of the late nights of Mykonos, loud thumping Techno & House and all-nighters and the more normal Tinos with vacationers seeking the beach, idlyllic town life, a fine taverna and it’s popular religious attraction of Church of Panagia (Virgin Mary).

One of the holiest days in the Greek-Orthodox calendar is August 15th and many pilgrims visit Tinos to crawl up it’s long incline of steps in hopes of being one of the blessed with a miracle from the icon of Panagia.

Tinos is also famous for it’s artichokes and in keeping with the Greeks’ natural ingenuity, taverna owners have come up with creative ways to showcase this local produce in an array of dishes.

I found an interesting recipe from Diane Kochilias who has written many cookbooks on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.

She describes this dish as being inspired by the taverna owners’ many renditions of their Artichoke pie. The Greek island of Kefallonia (on the Ionian side of Greece) also has their own Artichoke pie but we’ll chat about that another time.

This dish stood out for me because one of the main ingredients here is bread slices. I have a feeling the origins of this dish are very peasant and in keeping with the Greek tradition of stretching your ingredients to utmost limit.

I’m sure day-old bread was used to make Artichoke Pie (you can too) but I’ve found that lighter, less dense bread works best here for absorbing moisture and flavour in the end result.

In this dish I used preserved, jarred artichoke hearts, some grated Graviera cheese (sheep’s milk Grueyere), Bechamel sauce and some fresh thyme.

This dish is easy, great offering for a buffet, part of a light lunch or serve a wedge as a snack. It also came in handy as I was able to use up a jar of artichokes staring at me in the fridge and it hit the spot for wanting a light lunch with a salad on the side.

Artichoke Pie (Ταβερνίσια αγκιναρόπιτα της Τήνου)

a buttered 13X9X2″ bakiing dish
1/4 cup olive oil

3 large onions, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large loaf of rustic bread, crust removed
& cut into thick slices
2 tsp. of fresh thyme

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

approx. dozen artichoke hearts, cut into bite-sized pieces (poached if fresh, I used jarred)

1 1/2 grated Graviera cheese (Gruyere is fine)

3 cups of Bechamel Sauce
(or 1/2 of my recipe)
thyme sprigs for garnish

  1. Melt the olive oil in a large skillet and add your onions and garlic and saute over medium-low heat for about 20-30 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add your fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool and set aside.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 400F. Now make your Bechamel sauce as per my instructions with the 1 cup of grated Graviera and set aside and keep warm.
  3. Spoon some Bechamel Sauce on the bottom of the baking dish and lay your first layer of bread slices. Now spoon half of your sauteed onions over the bread, followed by half the artichoke pieces, some Bechamel sauce and some grated cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients in the same order.
  4. Bake until tender and the top is golden-brown, about 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, slice into portioned squares and serve.

© 2008 – 2010,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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58 Comments for “Artichoke Pie (αγκιναρόπιτα-της-Τήνου)”

Peter G

says:

Wow! This is really impressive Peter! An absolutely new way for me to experiment with artichokes…love it!

Marjie

says:

It looks delish! My dearly beloved is very fond of artichokes, and this looks like a wonderful way to present them differently (as if he needed them differently). Love your photo of the temple, too; my 7th grader is studying architecture for art history this year, and he’ll love this picture. So many Greek buildings have such wonderful architectural details, and I appreciate your showing them to me!

Jan

says:

Mmmm YUM!
I still haven’t cooked or even tried an artichoke – I really need to have a go. Your pie looks lovely!!

glamah16

says:

That does look good. I love artichokes, but those around me dont. Guess I have to make it just for me.

Judy@nofearentertaining

says:

Very nice Peter! I wonder if everyone here likes artichokes…guess we’ll find out!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js

says:

I love artichokes (even the jarred ones) though I can’t seem to insert them anywhere in our meals. Have to try this one. Thanks!

Dawn

says:

Everytime I come to your food blog I long for summer.
I make a lot of hummus with artichokes in it, so I’m a huge lover of it. I must try this.

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer

says:

I have never seen an artichoke pie – Looks so great and it is a wonderful way to chisel away at the extra large jar sitting in the fridge!!

FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels

says:

Looks delicious but I see something red…did you forget an ingredient? We do something similar in a pie crust with Italian cheeses.
BTW, please stop by my blog and see my current post (a meme). I’ll say no more.

We Are Never Full

says:

this dish is SO up my alley. looks SO comforting and delish. in fact, i feel like we must’ve been in each other’s heads when you did this – i just made something completely different (and italian) with almost the same ingredient list. i’ll link to this when i post our dish!

we;re meant to be, peter… just admit it.

Julie

says:

Artichoke is one of my favorite foods so this immediately has my attention. It sounds great. I’m also mentally bookmarking Tinos for a future vacation. A Greek island known for its artichokes sounds like a perfect place to me.

Natashya

says:

This looks like a great dish, full of bready, cheesy goodness.
When are you going to profile Leonard’s island?

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI

says:

this looks delicious – pies are everyone favorites, and this makes a nice change form the common spanakopita

Paula

says:

This is amazing. Someone should write a song singing the praises of this pie. I’d eat every bite without saying a single word to anyone else at the table because it would interfere with my ingesting this. And that’s saying something because we Italians like to talk at the table. YUM! Also, ditto to Marjie’s remarks about the Greek buildings. My son studies the same curriculum as Marjie’s and it’s been wonderful seeing your photos of Greece.

Cynthia

says:

Peter, I spend way too much time at your blog! I don’t mind though :)

The pasta dish with the lobster below, so wish I could have that right now – for breakfast!!!

Maryann

says:

It looks so good, Peter! Bookmarked! Hey, I haven’t written that in awhile, but I really meant it this time haha :)

Maria

says:

I’ve never used artichokes this way and I don’t know of anyone having tried a pita with aginares. Looks amazing. A wonderful alternative to usual pites.

Stacey Snacks

says:

Peter,
This is like my artichoke bread pudding.
THIS LOOKS SO GOOD! I may make this as a side dish on turkey day.
Thanks for the recipe.
Stacey

kat

says:

wow, does that look delicious. I can’t tell you how much I love artichokes so this is a slice of heaven

Jeanne

says:

Greek artichoke bread & butter pudding! ;-) Who knew? This looks wonderful and I can imagine how the flavour of the artichokes permeates everything.

Rosie

says:

Wonderful Peter! Artichoke takes me down memory lane when I was staying in France and being served beautiful dips with artichoke.

Marianne

says:

Looks wonderful….do you use plain or the kind that have been marinated(artichokes),,,Thanks for the recipe!!

Helene

says:

Super! Never heard of Artichoke Pie, only Artichoke dip. I think that would be great to bring at a party.

canarygirl

says:

Delicious, Peter! Artichokes are soooo good, I bet I could get da hubs (aka mr.pickypants lmao) to eat this one.

Helen

says:

oooh, I love the idea of using artichokes in a pie! I have never tried them in this way, I agree with you about using jarred though, as much as I do enjoy preparing artichokes, it would be a lot of work for this dish!

Grace

says:

bechamel is a magic word for me. heck, so is pie. thanks for lovely dish, and for the incredibly informative post!

Bellini Valli

says:

This is an upscale version of a savory bread pudding that I would love to try. I am always looking for ways to utilize my canned artichokes:D

Carmen

says:

HI! Peter
how are you? I hope you’re fine. :)
this recipe is delicious, I love it. send me a recipe for my blog, “the christmas recipes”.
if you want.
kisses

Sandie

says:

Love artichokes in just about anything, and this artichoke pie is no exception. I think this casserole would make a great side at breakfast!

Núria

says:

Mmmmm! So good Peter! I LOVE artichockes… as you might know… I would love to try this one with a light cheese like a mozarella, do you think that would be possible?
It’s artichokes season here now and I would use natural ones for sure :D

Peter M

says:

Glam, make a small batch or take some to work…reheats well.

Jan, you must!

Judy…lol…surprises always good!

Joan, nothing forgotten, that’s just the golden-brown cheese.

Neverfull…meet up in NYC?

Heather, certainly could…just poach them 1st.

Julie, just remember artichokes aren’t really in season in the summer.

Natashya, you mean Hydra? I’ve been there and I’ll see what I can come up with.

Maryann…LOL’in at you!

Marianne, the marinated/brined type.

Nikki, LOL at Mr. Pickypants!

Val, this worked well with the jarred variety.

Ioanna, if the frozen ones are good quality, sure but the ones here are horrible, hence the jarred ones.

Nina, don’t be..lots of blogs with easy to follow insts. to clean them

Nuria, certainly – use mozzarella or another mild cheese.

Jen of A2eatwrite

says:

I adore artichoke anything – this looks wonderful. Have a fabulous time in NYC! I’ll be there tomorrow for a couple of days, but sadly, working the whole time – my mother is moving from there to MI.

And btw… even having grown up in NYC, I’d take TO over NYC any day! ;-)

Nicole

says:

Loving this dish! It is perfect for my family and our large get togethers. Maybe for thanksgiving as something different on the side. What do you think?

Kit Kat

says:

WOW this looks incredible. I have got to make this, along with your more recent feta pasta dish. Two of my favorite flavors in the world.