We’ve been getting a lot of zucchini lately, something about them always remind me of summer in Greece and call for me to grab a few every time we grocery shop.
My favorite way to eat them is steamed or boiled, especially the baby zucchinis we get in Greece, so tender they are almost sweet! Yesterday, however, I went for my second favorite way to eat them: kolokithopita – a Greek pie with zucchini and feta.
Kolokithopita can be eaten several different ways, in phylo dough (like spanakopita, or zucchini pie), with homemade rustic dough (like a covered pie), or in phylo but in a swirl formation. The latest is an all-time favorite of mine, it is pretty much the first food I crave upon landing in Athens each trip I go on. You can be sure that I will have a warm, crispy and flaky handsized swirly pita within the first 2 days of being in the country. There is something about the ratio of phylo to filling that is sublime, it’s like getting the best bite, every bite!
Although it looks quite labor intensive, I found it actually easier and more entertaining to make than the regular pitas – which after buttering sheet #3 is quite tedious – and turns out so beautiful! Also, it makes serving it much easier, as each swirl is a perfect and beautiful individual portion, and doesn’t leave you with a table or counter full of phylo flakes.
Sometimes however, let’s face it, phylo is the last thing you want to deal with, I also discovered another SUPER simple method to provide a crust for this scrumptious filling… ready for it??? Soft flour tortilla wraps (I actually ran out of phylo and needed a stand-in, but it turned out surprisingly tasty!) !
Leek and Zucchini Swirl Pie – Strifti Prassokolokithopita
- 4 zucchinis (grated)
- 4 leeks (thinly sliced)
- 1 large bunch parley (chopped)
- 1 small bunch dill (chopped)
- 1 tbsp tarragon (chopped)
- 3 eggs
- 200g Feta (crumbled)
- 125g Quark (or ricotta)
- 1 pack of phyllo (or filo, or fillo) dough
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 180˚C (375˚F)
- In a large skillet saute leeks and zucchinis until half in size and most of the water has evaporated, then add the herbs, and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
- While the mix is cooling, beat the eggs together. Crumble the feta into small pieces (you do not want large chunks as they can puncture your delicate phylo).
- Once no longer piping hot, stir eggs, feta, quark, salt and pepper thoroughly into the zucchini leek mixture, ensuring to evenly coat all ingredients.
- Lay your phylo onto the counter and brush a whole sheet with butter (if using large sheets, halve your sheets to get to an A3 paper size), then spoon 2 heaping tbsp of zucchini leek mix onto the phylo in a thin and long strand. Delicately roll into a thin rope, using the whole sheet of phylo, and then gently roll into itself to form a swirl. Place in greased baking dish, and repeat until you have used all the filling. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
- ALTERNATIVELY: If using a large tortilla wrap as your shell, cut in half, butter both sides thoroughly (to avoid it getting dry and floury tasting), place 1 half into greased ramekin, pressing the tortilla into the side walls of the ramekin to achieve snug fit. Spoon in filling until top of ramekin is reached. Repeat until filling is used, bake for 40 mins.