So the first thing you’ll probably think is ‘that isn’t filo pastry in the picture!’ – and if you’ve seen my last post then you’ll know that it isn’t! I came across this recipe for Courgette Filo Pie in the July issue of Country Living magazine, when looking for a recipe that included olives. This is because we’ve had a jar of olives in our cupboard for months and I realised the other day that they need eating up this month – but I’m not really a fan unless they are disguised in something! So this recipe (which is part of Sarah Raven’s ‘Grow and Cook’ series) seemed like a perfect choice.
I substituted some of the ingredients from the original recipe (using freshly chopped basil instead of mint and parsley) and because I couldn’t find filo pastry in the supermarket this afternoon, I used a sheet of puff pastry instead. I didn’t use the sesame seeds on top either because Tom hates them! I’ll try and include the method for both types of pastry here – hopefully it won’t be too confusing!
5 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
400g red onions, finely chopped (I used 2 large red onions)
500g leeks, finely chopped (I used 3 leeks)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
600g courgettes, finely chopped (I used 3 courgettes)
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
60g fresh mint leaves, removed from storks and roughly chopped
60g fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
250g pack filo sheets (12 sheet pack, or 1 sheet of ready to roll puff pastry)
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
25 Kalamata olives (or good quality mixed olives, stoned)
1 heaped teaspoon dried mint
200g feta, crumbled
2 medium eggs, beaten
2-3 teaspoons sesame seeds
1. Heat the oven to 170C or gas mark 3 (I went up to gas 4 with my puff pastry). Grease the base and sides of a 23cm x 7cm deep cake tin, or a similar sized oven proof dish.
2. Put 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pan on a medium heat. Add the onions, leeks and garlic and stir well. Turn the heat down to low and cook gently for 10 minutes until softened. Add the remaining olive oil, courgettes, chilli and herbs, and continue to cook over a low heat for a further 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with black pepper (I didn’t add salt because the feta is salty, and this will be added later).
3. If using filo pastry, lay a sheet of filo over the base of the prepared tin and mould it gently into its shape, allowing the ends to fall over the edge of the tin. Brush with oil and don’t worry if it breaks up a little. Repeat this with 5 more sheets of pastry, brushing each one with oil as you go.
4. Add the lemon zest, pine nuts, olives and dried mint to the courgette mixture, stirring well to combine. Spoon the mixture into the filo lined tin (if using puff pastry, just spoon straight into the greased tin). Crumble the feta over the top and then pour in the beaten eggs (save a little if using puff pastry for brushing).
5. For the top of the pie, either layer 3 sheets of filo pastry (brushing each one with oil) and then fold the hanging edges over the top of the pie, pressing down gently. Brush the filo pastry top with oil and scatter with sesame seeds. If using puff pastry, cover the courgette mixture with the sheet, crimping the excess on the top, and brush with the remaining egg.
6. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes until golden. Serve hot or cold with some salad. Enjoy!