Monday 21 November 2016

Kολοκυθόπιτα - Cephalonian Courgette Pie

What is going on in the world right now?! I know this isn't a political blog and I am no political expert, but I don't think I can ignore things completely... First Brexit, now Trump! I feel I don't really recognise the world I live in any more. I have actually cried on various occasions at the thought of where society seems to be going: intolerant, angry, aggressive...

I think some of what is going on is even harder to cope with as a parent of young children, knowing that the world is becoming a more hostile place to live in. I am trying to stay positive, while showing them the importance of inclusiveness and tolerance, though I think they are still too young to openly discuss any of the latest events.

I hope this is just a small blip in our history and we come out of it stronger and fairly unscathed, but we can only do so, if we all make small (or big!) steps towards a better tomorrow and stop idealising a past that was only ever good for small sections of society anyway!

There is no way of introducing a recipe seamlessly after this, so all I will say is that sometimes, in darker more stressful times one needs some comfort food. Well, I guess this is a veggie version of comfort food.

Serves 8-10

for the filling:

750g-1kg courgettes, chopped into small dices (less than 1cm)
1 large potato, chopped into very small matchstick head sized dices
3 medium onions, diced
3 tbs long grain rice
3 eggs
100g gruyere, grated
100g paremsan, grated
100g feta, crumbled
4 tbs breadcrumbs
150ml vegetable stock
7-10 prunes, stoned and sliced into small pieces
130ml olive oil
1 tbs dill, chopped
1 tbs mint, chopped
1 tbs parsley, chopped

You can use any pastry you like for this (shortcrust, puff or filo) though traditionally we would use an olive oil based one (not butter based).

It is best to use a dish of around 2 litres capacity.
Preheat the oven to 170 fan oven.
Fry the chopped vegetables over a moderate heat in a large frying pan with the olive oil for 20 minutes. Add the rice after 15 minutes, for the last 5 minutes. Make sure the vegetables don't brown during this process.
Cool the vegetables and mix with all the remaining ingredients, adding seasoning.
Grease the pie dish and line it with 2/3 of the pastry and add the filling.
Add about 150ml stock and lift the filling gently with a fork, while doing so, to ensure that the stock is equally distributed. The stock should not overflow the dish.
Seal the top with the remaining pastry, egg or milk wash and bake for 1 hour, or until the pastry is golden.

Serve with salad or greens

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