Each spring, just before Easter, we prepare the vegetable garden in our farm. In between the olive trees we sow seeds for spring onions and melons, we plant corn, little tomato and zucchini plants. Then the waiting starts…
Fresh and organic vegetables
In early summer, the growth of most plants is excruciatingly slow. Impatiently I watch all things in my garden come out of the earth and mature slowly, together with my cooking friends that come from all parts of the world. The baskets we bring with us during our first visits to the farm are almost empty upon our return to Odyssey.
This leaves us to cook those recipes that consist of a few tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, resulting in fried eggplant with tomato sauce and basil or roasted peppers for example. The good thing is though that all the ingredients have just been harvested and are as fresh and organic as they can be!
Eventually the vegetable garden starts to produce. Before I know it, the yield is much greater than what my friends and I can use during our cooking classes. We start to cook everything in so many various ways and our guests at the Odyssey are fortunate to experience all those fresh vegetables in so many different recipes.
Unveiling the ripe zucchinis
During the September and October months the zucchinis are in full bloom. Large sheets cover my zucchinis and together with my father – the main cause of having planted so many – we use a long stick to shove aside the large leaves to unveil the ripe, full grown courgettes, lurking beneath those giant sticky, hairy leaves.
Especially this season my recipes are actually overloaded with zucchini, so much that my friends started to suggest I change the subtitle of the Odyssey bistro from the The True Taste Of Greece to the True Taste Of Zucchini.
But really, zucchini is a fantastic vegetable that can be used in so many various dishes. This zucchini pie – Kolokythopita – is really delicious. The following recipe was given to me by my mother about 3 years ago, so by now it is well tested and approved by all my friends as well. However recently I was discussing this zucchini pie with my mother while she was making her own homemade filo dough. It turned out that since then she had changed the recipe and kind of forgot the one she had given me some years ago…
In other words, the ways to vary on this recipe are endless, and I suggest you all feel free to experiment a little bit and let me know the results of your own variations!
We are going to start preparing the zucchini pie by making 4 filo sheets.
Then it’s time to grate the zucchini.
Sooth the chopped onion with the grated zucchini in 2 table spoons of olive oil until they are soft and let them cool down. Put the onion and zucchini in a mixing bowl and add the eggs with the yoghurt, feta cheese, parsley, dill, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.
Butter a deep baking dish. Layer a sheet of filo so that it overlaps the baking dish and extends beyond the rim. Brush the sheet very lightly with olive oil and cover with another filo sheet. Add the zucchini mix and spread it out evenly.
Layer a sheet of filo on top. Brush the sheet very lightly with olive oil and cover with another filo sheet. Fold the overhanging filo up over the zucchini filling and brush with oil. Bake the zucchini pie for an hour!
The zucchini pie will come out of the oven all brown and crispy. It’s so tasty you will find yourself making another one the next day!