This is a recipe for an irresistible zucchini pie (Kolokythopita) with the aromas of three different herbs. The taste of summer in your plate!
Aside from the glorious weather and the warm inviting Mediterranean sea, summer in Greece has much more to offer: the arrival of great seasonal vegetables and the dishes you can make using them. True, now we can find vegetables all year around in the supermarkets, which come from all over the world. But you cannot beat the ones you can buy knowing that they were cropped a couple days ago from a field nearby.
Even though I live far from the blessed Mediterranean lands, I felt the urge to try to come closer by making an aromatic zucchini pie. Zucchini grow in the summertime and the dish is called “Kolokythopita”. The winter version is made with pumpkin and shares the same name. But I prefer the freshness of the zucchini.
When dealing with zucchini (to make fritters, cakes etc), the key is to drain its juices as much as possible. One of the tricks I learned from Kondje is to place some of the grated zucchini on a kitchen cloth, close it and squeeze it. Juices are removed but you have to throw the cloth in the bin when you finish!
You may use filo pastry or any other pastry you like. However, if you would like to go all the way and do the real thing, you could make your own dough. I didn’t do it this time but I promise I will come back to it and share it with you. Probably with a different filling next time.
In the meantime, enjoy the freshness and the aroma of the glorious Kolokythopita!
- 8-10 zucchini.
- 1 onion finely chopped.
- ~ 10 spring onions finely sliced.
- 1 bunch of dill finely chopped.
- 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley finely chopped.
- Leaves from 1 bunch of fresh mint finely chopped.
- 250 gr (9 oz) of Feta cheese crumbled.
- 3 eggs lightly whisked.
- 12 filo pastry sheets.
- ½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil.
- Salt and ground pepper.
- Grate the zucchini and drain all the water from them. The trick to do it correctly is to place a handful of the grated pieces in the center of a kitchen cloth, close it and then tighten it to get rid of all the juices. Place the dry pieces in a large ball.
- Add the onion, spring onion, dill, parsley, mint, feta and eggs in to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper (~ 1 tablespoon of each, maybe a bit more of pepper). Mix well.
- Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (360 F).
- Use a kitchen brush and spread the bottom and sides of a medium-large tray with olive oil. Place one filo sheet on the bottom making sure it sticks to the oiled walls of the tray. Spread some more olive oil on top of the first filo sheet and add the second one on top. Repeat the process until you layer a total of 6 sheets, making sure you oil each one of them.
- Add the mixture from the ball to the tray. Place the next 6 sheets of filo on the top, oiling each one of them. When you finish, fold the edges to make sure that the mixture is contained within the filo sheets. You may cut the excess parts. Use a knife and divide the pie in 4 parts by gently cutting it lengthwise. Spread some olive oil, sprinkle some water on the top and bake the pie for ~ 40 minutes until golden brown.
- Let the pie rest for ~ 20 minutes. You can serve it warm or at room temperature.
- Bon appetit!