Today we have a special treat for you. We welcome Aglaia Kremezi, award winning cookbook author and educator on Mediterranean diet and cuisine. Aglaia teaches cooking classes in Kea, Greece. Here she shares her recipe for Crustless Zucchini Pie from her book “Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts.” This delicious recipe is here just in time for zucchini season!
More about this delicious and filling Mediterranean recipe from Aglaia Kremezi:
A French guest once called it “flan,” but this rustic Balkan dish is too hearty for such a dainty description. This pie has no cream and uses only two eggs and oats as a binding agent for the raw grated zucchini, which is scented with fresh mint and dill. If you don’t have zucchini, squash is a wonderful substitute. Once I found myself without stale bread and substituted rolled oats, ground in a blender; I have also added sunflower seeds and pecorino to top the pie, giving it a nice crunchy crust. Alternatively you can omit the nuts and top the pie with thin tomato slices.
I usually serve it as main course, with a generous tomato salad. But it can also be an appetizer, and is our guests’ favorite picnic food, as we often bring it with us to the beach, precut into bite-size pieces.
2poundszucchini (or squash) coarsely grated in a box grater or on a mandoline fitted with the julienne attachment
1onion, finely chopped or grated
1 1/4cupsground rolled oats (quick-cooking)
3/4poundfeta cheese, crumbled
1tspMaraş pepper or freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2cuppacked fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/3cupextra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1cupsunflower seeds (or pepitas)
3-4tbsp.grated pecorino or kefalotyri cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°F
Toss the zucchini with 1 teaspoon salt and let wilt in a colander for about 10 minutes.
Press handfuls of the zucchini over the sink to extract most of the juices and transfer to a large bowl. Add the onion, oats, feta, pepper, dill, and mint. Combine and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well with your hands or with a large spatula. Add the olive oil and stir well.
Lay a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a few sunflower seeds, and carefully pour over the zucchini mixture. Spread and level the surface with a spatula, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with the rest of the sunflower seeds and the grated cheese.
Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture is set and deep golden on top.
Let cool on a rack at least 20 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.
Brief Bio Journalist, author AGLAIA KREMEZI was born in Athens where she lived and worked as a photographer, journalist and editor before devoting her time entirely to cooking, food writing, and studying the history of the cuisines of the Mediterranean. In 2001 she moved permanently to Kea--an island of the Cyclades--with her husband Costas Moraitis, a Yale graduate. Together they garden, cook, write, and teach cooking to travelers at www.keartisanal.com . Aglaia just published Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts (Stewart, Tabori & Chang/Abrams), her sixth book the US. She won the Julia Child award for her first book The Foods of Greece (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1993). Her best-selling The Cooking of the Greek Islands (Houghton Mifflin, 2000) after several editions is coming out in paperback this spring. She blogged at the Atlantic Monthly Food/Health site, and writes regularly in Greek, European and American publications: Saveur, Gourmet, BBC Good Food magazine, Bonne Appetit, Food and Wine, Food Arts, epicurious.com, etc. She takes part and gives papers at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, and was for several years a guest lecturer at the Culinary Institute of America, in Greystone. She also taught at Macy’s Degustibus, at the French Culinary Institute and many other US cooking schools. In the past, before concentrating on food, she has been the editor in chief and creator of news, women’s, and life-style magazines. She was a consultant for Molyvos, the first upscale Greek restaurant in New York, when Ruth Reichl gave it three stars in the NY Times. She now works as an advisor at Zaytinya, Jose Andres’ acclaimed Greek and Middle Eastern restaurant, in Washington DC.