History of Greek Food

The foot of the crow

In December 2012, Ι came across a medium population of kournopodi (ancient Greek coronopus,  Oenanthe pimpilloides, Corky-fruited water-dropwort) and few plants of ahatzikes (Shepherd’s needle  -Scandix pecten-veneris) hidden among the leaves of  wood- sorrel.(Oxalis pes-caprae L.). Yes, the wood – sorrel was just as plentiful as ever.
Coronopus is a perennial with white or pink stems and linear leaflets. Its name  comes from Greek κορωνόπους and contains the -κορωνό (“crow”) and the -πους (“foot”) elements because the ends of the leaves look like the foot of a crow.
Its botanical name “Oenanthe pimpilloides”  is derived from the Greek oinos “wine” and anthos “flower“, from the wine-like scent of the flowers.

You are more likely to find kournopodi growing in damp fields, wet sites and springs.

Leaves, shoots (under and above ground) and root are edible.

Kournopodi  is delicious when added to a mixture of browned greens. It also adds excellent flavor to wild greens pies, salted cod stew and pork fricassee.

Though it is a tenacious plant in flavor, don’t be afraid to boil it. 

Boiled new potatoes and kournopodi, dressed with lemon juice and  oil from unripe olives make a wonderful light meal.

You can also use it in the filling of blatsaria, a cornbread and greens pie from Northern Greece. 


1 kgr kournopodi
250 gr. ahatzikes (Shepherd’s needle )
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 medium leek, white and tender green part, finely chopped
300 gr. feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup + 1/2 cup olive oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper
olive oil to brush the baking dish
Wash the greens thorougly, drain and chop. Transfer to a colander, add salt, rub the mixture and let it aside for 10 minutes. Press with your fingers to extract most of the liquid and transfer to a bowl. Add leeks, onions, cheese, pepper and ½ cup olive oil. Mix all together. In a bowl mix 1 kgr. flour with some salt, 1/2 cup olive oil and enough water to make a pulp. Brush a baking dish with olive oil, pour in the half of the cornmeal pulp and spread the greens mixture evenly. Pour the remaining cornmeal pulp over the surface and sprinkle with sesame and nigella seeds.  Bake for 30 minutes (preh. 200C) or until the pie is dense and golden. Let the blatsaria cool for 10 minutes before cutting to serve. It can be served warm or at room temperature the next day.

Some other names of this pie: Babanetsa Batsaria, Batzara, Blano, Bobota,  Bobota, Bobotopita, Babanetsa,  Lachanopsomo, Pastaria, Plastos, Plastira, Pispilita, Paspalopita. 

 You might also like: Pispilita, a nettle pie.

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