I hadn’t realized how much I missed buying spinach pie at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market until Ferial (“like cereal”) Rewoldt brought it back. Spinach and cheese layered in flaky phyllo, it was my favorite Saturday lunch until the previous purveyor, a Turkish engineer who’d reinvented herself as an Ann Arbor baker, returned home some years ago. Happily, Rewoldt’s is even better.
Raised in Lebanon, Rewoldt was working as a nurse in Beirut when civil war broke out in the mid-1970s. Fearing for her safety, an American friend arranged for a U.S. job offer and a green card–“she taught me about generosity,” Rewoldt says. What she calls “Lebanese home cooking” is her retirement project after a thirty-year career in patient care and research at the U-M.
She owns to broader influences. Her spinach pie recipe, from Italian-born PBS chef Nick Stellino, blends salty feta cheese with creamy ricotta and tangy pecorino. Cinnamon and nutmeg add savor.
For the same $5 price tag, you can get a quintet of falafel balls or stuffed grape leaves, a box of crisp pita chips, or any of a trio of dips: a tasty hummus, a garlic-and-lemony vegan eggplant dip (aka baba ghanoush), and muhammara, a red pepper paste whose origin Rewoldt traces to Aleppo, Syria.
Parking is tough in August, when the market’s bounty peaks. But the Ann-Ashley structure is just around the corner, and during the ongoing reconstruction of Fifth Ave. it’s free on Saturdays. You can also find Rewoldt’s goods at the two Argus Farm Stops. She’s at the Packard location herself for pop-ups from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursdays.