Home RSS      I do love a pie. I certainly won’t take the pie fame from the North, but as a Midlander, I too can appreciate a good pie (with chips & gravy). But Greeks do pies too, and as our friend Gus from My Big Fat Greek Wedding would notoriously say, “The Greeks invented pies.”  The truth is, away from the beautifully prepared salads, grilled octopus, wood oven roasted lambs and worshipped vegetables, pastries are a big deal in Greece and Cyprus. They are an integral part of a Greek’s daily diet and will be eaten at any time of day (as a starter, part of a main, a snack or breakfast). I became really interested in Greek pastries after a recent trip to Athens where I sampled homemade filo pastries filled with soft Mizithra cheese (from Crete) and dressed with local honey and black sesame seeds. It was part of our main meal and was pure beauty.  This pie, a courgette and cheese one (known as Kologithopitta) is rich and comforting. It goes great as a side dish, or as the masterpiece itself with a salad or vegetable side. This is the kind of dish that, the longer you leave it to rest after cooked, the tastier it becomes. It’s therefore great for a dinner party because it can be prepared well in advance.   RECIPE   Makes 10-12 generous squares  Prep Time – 20 mins  Cooking Time – 1 hour (then leave to rest for minimum 30 mins)      INGREDIENTS   Courgettes – 2 large or 3 regular (roughly 500g)  Spring Onions – 7 finely chopped  Ricotta Cheese – 250g tub, crumbled  Feta Cheese – 200g packet, crumbled  Gruyere Cheese – 60g grated  Rocket leaves – large handful, roughly chopped  Chives – handful, finely chopped  Dried Mint – 3 tablespoons  Nutmeg – 1 teaspoon ground or freshly grated  Smoked Paprika – 1 teaspoon  Lemon Zest – 1 unwaxed lemon  Semolina – 120g  Eggs – 3 large, lightly beaten  All butter Shortcrust Pastry – 1 x 500g pack (if frozen leave to thaw in advance)  Sesame Seeds – 1 tablespoon  Milk – a little for brushing  Salt & freshly ground black pepper  Olive Oil       METHOD   You will need a lightly oiled shallow rectangular oven dish (approx. 28cm x 20cm) and a food processor  Courgettes – Wash and dry well. Top and tail and cut into small chunks to fit in the food processor. Blitz to a soft purée, maintaining a bit of substance. (No need to squeeze out the juices)  Olive Oil – Heat in a medium frying pan over a low/medium heat  Spring Onions – add to the frying pan and gently fry until soft, but not brown  Blitzed Courgettes – add to the onions and fry for 3-4 mins until all the oil has absorbed, stirring occasionally  Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool  Pre-heat oven to 150°C with fan  Ricotta, Feta, Gruyere, Rocket, Mint, Nutmeg, Paprika, Lemon Zest, Chives, Semolina & Eggs – add to a large mixing bowl and stir  Season with salt & pepper (not too heavy on the salt because of all the cheese)  Pastry – place 2/3 onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a size that’s big enough to line the base and sides of your oven dish  Now add the courgette and onion mixture to the mixing bowl and stir well  Pour this mixture onto the pastry base and level out with the back of a spoon  Carefully fold any pastry overhang over the filling and then dampen the pastry edges with some water  Roll out the last 1/3 of the pastry to the size of your oven dish and lay on top  Trim away the excess pastry from around the rim and carefully seal the edges of your pie with your fingers  Make 4 or 5 incisions to the top of the pie and brush with milk  Finish by sprinkling the sesame seeds evenly on top  Bake in the oven for about 1 hour until golden. After an hour, turn off the oven and leave the pie inside for 10 mins  Remove from the oven and leave to stand for at least 30 mins before serving. Remember, the longer the better      

  
     
    
       
        
           
        
           
                
           
        
           
        

        

       
    
     
  


    

 

   

     
       Subscribe 
        Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates.  
     

     

       

        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        
    

      Thank you for subscribing to FeedTim. This is just the start of my journey around the Med and by subscribing you are keeping this dream alive. 
courgette-cheesepie.JPG

I do love a pie. I certainly won’t take the pie fame from the North, but as a Midlander, I too can appreciate a good pie (with chips & gravy). But Greeks do pies too, and as our friend Gus from My Big Fat Greek Wedding would notoriously say, “The Greeks invented pies.”

The truth is, away from the beautifully prepared salads, grilled octopus, wood oven roasted lambs and worshipped vegetables, pastries are a big deal in Greece and Cyprus. They are an integral part of a Greek’s daily diet and will be eaten at any time of day (as a starter, part of a main, a snack or breakfast). I became really interested in Greek pastries after a recent trip to Athens where I sampled homemade filo pastries filled with soft Mizithra cheese (from Crete) and dressed with local honey and black sesame seeds. It was part of our main meal and was pure beauty.

This pie, a courgette and cheese one (known as Kologithopitta) is rich and comforting. It goes great as a side dish, or as the masterpiece itself with a salad or vegetable side. This is the kind of dish that, the longer you leave it to rest after cooked, the tastier it becomes. It’s therefore great for a dinner party because it can be prepared well in advance.

RECIPE

Makes 10-12 generous squares

Prep Time – 20 mins

Cooking Time – 1 hour (then leave to rest for minimum 30 mins)

 

INGREDIENTS

Courgettes – 2 large or 3 regular (roughly 500g)

Spring Onions – 7 finely chopped

Ricotta Cheese – 250g tub, crumbled

Feta Cheese – 200g packet, crumbled

Gruyere Cheese – 60g grated

Rocket leaves – large handful, roughly chopped

Chives – handful, finely chopped

Dried Mint – 3 tablespoons

Nutmeg – 1 teaspoon ground or freshly grated

Smoked Paprika – 1 teaspoon

Lemon Zest – 1 unwaxed lemon

Semolina – 120g

Eggs – 3 large, lightly beaten

All butter Shortcrust Pastry – 1 x 500g pack (if frozen leave to thaw in advance)

Sesame Seeds – 1 tablespoon

Milk – a little for brushing

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Olive Oil 

 

METHOD

You will need a lightly oiled shallow rectangular oven dish (approx. 28cm x 20cm) and a food processor

Courgettes – Wash and dry well. Top and tail and cut into small chunks to fit in the food processor. Blitz to a soft purée, maintaining a bit of substance. (No need to squeeze out the juices)

Olive Oil – Heat in a medium frying pan over a low/medium heat

Spring Onions – add to the frying pan and gently fry until soft, but not brown

Blitzed Courgettes – add to the onions and fry for 3-4 mins until all the oil has absorbed, stirring occasionally

Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool

Pre-heat oven to 150°C with fan

Ricotta, Feta, Gruyere, Rocket, Mint, Nutmeg, Paprika, Lemon Zest, Chives, Semolina & Eggs – add to a large mixing bowl and stir

Season with salt & pepper (not too heavy on the salt because of all the cheese)

Pastry – place 2/3 onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a size that’s big enough to line the base and sides of your oven dish

Now add the courgette and onion mixture to the mixing bowl and stir well

Pour this mixture onto the pastry base and level out with the back of a spoon

Carefully fold any pastry overhang over the filling and then dampen the pastry edges with some water

Roll out the last 1/3 of the pastry to the size of your oven dish and lay on top

Trim away the excess pastry from around the rim and carefully seal the edges of your pie with your fingers

Make 4 or 5 incisions to the top of the pie and brush with milk

Finish by sprinkling the sesame seeds evenly on top

Bake in the oven for about 1 hour until golden. After an hour, turn off the oven and leave the pie inside for 10 mins

Remove from the oven and leave to stand for at least 30 mins before serving. Remember, the longer the better