Wednesday, 8 August 2012
Greek Courgette Pie
I was challenged at work today by 2 colleagues to make a meal for two people with 2 courgettes and 2 eggs. I've done better than that - I've made a meal for four people (with a little extra help along the way!). This is based on a Sarah Raven recipe from her Garden cookbook, a great option for seasonal veg cooking. You start off by gently sauteeing a chopped red or white onion, 2 medium courgettes, grated, and a crushed clove of garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil - Greek if you have it. Let this cook for 15 minutes until soft and most of the moisture has been driven off. Cool a little whilst you beat the 2 eggs in a bowl with a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche, some salt and pepper (not too much salt, as the feta is salty), a sprinkle of dried red chilli flakes, and a tablespoon each of chopped parsley and mint. If you have fresh dill, add a tablespoon of this too. If you have toasted pine nuts lying around (I keep mine in the freezer) then add a tablespoon or so to the mix. Now fold in the cooled courgette mixture and 100g of proper Greek feta, cut into squares. Then, melt about 25g of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Take a baking tin (wide and shallow is best) and brush with some of the butter/oil, then line with a sheet of filo pastry, letting the excess hang over the edge. Brush with a little butter/oil, then lay another sheet of filo. Repeat. Now pour the courgette mixture onto the pastry. Fold over the excess overhanging pastry and brush with more butter. Lay another sheet of filo over, brush with butter and then scrunch another couple of sheets over the top. Brush the whole thing with more butter/oil, sprinkle with sesame seeds if you have any (I didn't) then bake for 30 to 35 minutes at around 180C (fan) until golden brown and crisp and the filling is gently set. Serve warm or cold. Definitely under a fiver territory here, and you can scale it up to feed more people in a bigger tin for a picnic, perhaps. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall does a version of this in his 'Veg Every Day' book with rice added, but I felt the rice didn't soften enough when added raw. You could bulk this out by part-boiling a cup of Basmati and adding it to the filling, but it will be a firmer, denser stuffing, albeit a more substantial one.