Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kourkouto aka Greek Zucchini Pie

Kourkouri - a Greek zucchini pie / Kreeka suvikõrvitsarull

There's a dish that made rounds in foodblogs last summer. The author of the original recipe was a Greek chef Dina Nikolaou. Her recipe was picked up and adapted by Peter of the Kalofagas, and the rest was history. I then spotted it on my dear friend's Alanna's blog, and earlier this year on Farida's blog. I bet there are many more :)

We had this for dinner tonight. I made some changes, leaving out the Kasseri cheese and upping the amount of feta cheese. I also added some dried oregano to the dish, a herb I always associate with my visits to Greece. Overall, this is an excellent supper dish - either with a light salad, as Peter recommends, or with flash-fried chicken strips, as we did. It's delicious both hot and cold, making it ideal for summer brunches and buffets.

Greek Courgette Pie Kourkouto

(Kreeka suvikõrvitsavorm)
Serves 6 to 8

Kourkouri - a Greek zucchini pie / Kreeka suvikõrvitsarull

100 ml olive oil
1 kg courgettes/zucchini (4-5 younger ones)
2 large onions
0.5 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
6 large eggs
250 g plain yogurt
150 g plain/all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
200 g feta cheese
a large handful of fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish:
1 slender green courgette
mild paprika powder

Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F.
Peel and chop the onions. Cut the courgettes/zucchini into small cubes.
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add zucchini and onion cubes. Season with salt and oregano and heat over a moderate heat for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft, but not mushy.
Meanwhile, whisk eggs with yogurt until combined. Stir in baking powder and flour, then add feta cubes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked vegetables into the batter. Add parsley, and stir until combined.
Pour into a well-buttered or lined oven dish, sized 25x35 cm.
Slice the extra zucchini into 5-6 mm rounds, then place nicely on top of the dish. Sprinkle with paprika powder.
Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until cooked through and nicely golden on top.

Kourkouri - a Greek zucchini pie / Kreeka suvikõrvitsarull


Anh said...

This is defenitely my sort of fav lunch! Yum!

martha said...

When I lived on Crete I never put rigani on or in vegetable dishes, only meat or xoriatiki(village salad). That pie would be lovely with fresh dill or mint.

Nupur said...

Such a pretty dish- I can't take my eyes off the picture.
By the way, Pille, remember the Nami-Nami bookmark you gave me last summer when we met in St. Louis? I am using it for all my summer reading so I think of you all the time :)

Alanna Kellogg said...

I love how yours is more eggy, making it more quiche-like. Very pretty, Pille!!

Peter M said...

This was a pleasasnt surprise when I first made it and it's still a nice surprise when folks like yourself are still making this and enjoying it! Thanks you for featuring the dish - it's easy and delicious!

Deeba PAB said...

Nam nam nam nam nam...what a good looking pie this is. Delish! Love Peter's blog too.Always brimming with refreshing Greek food ideas!

Kalyn Denny said...

Oh yes, definitely a winner!

Soula said...

I would like to make this recipe, however, the measurements for the ingredients are in the metric system. Can you please give the conversions for the measurements?


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I've now bookmarked this several times, so I think I need to make it soon. I have oregano in my garden, and will add that, too.

Anonymous said...

unless I missed something parsley is mentioned in the list of ingrdients, but not in the method. I presume it's chopped and sprinkled on top when it comes out of the oven? In any case, it was very tasty and easy to make. Thanks for posting it.

Luana said...

Martha, I totally agree. I would omit the oregano and add both dill and mint and probably some chopped parsley, too.

martha said...

I'm glad to read that somebody understands Greek food.

Stevi said...

hi Pille! Here in Greece, we add oregano in a variety of dishes, many of them have no meat at all. Zucchini with oregano is a classic, and you can find the traditional recipe around the web. We also add it to fries,to roast potatoes, to pizza, to feta (and then we grill it), to fish (a lot!) to grilled vegetables, to some tomato sauces, to omelets, and i am sure i forget lots. Many people use it in briam which is a totally vegetarian dish with roasted peppers, aubergines and zucchini. Your kourkouto looks delicious by the way.

Pille said...

Anh - it could become one of mine, too :)

Martha - I've never lived in Greece, I admit (nor been to Crete). However, I've spent 3 holidays there, eating lots of good local food. I also had lots of Greek friends in Scotland, who cooked me Greek food regularly. I clearly remember oregano being used liberally in vegetable dishes as well. Perhaps it's just Cretans who don't do it?
Re: fresh dill and mint - these would enliven up anu dish - vegetarian or meaty :) Dill is especially popular among Estonians.

Nupur - thank you!! And glad to hear that you heart the bookmark :)

Alanna - it was indeed quiche-like, but without the crust!

Peter M - thank you for introducing the dish to the blogosphere :)

Deeba - thank you for your kind words!

Kalyn - indeed :)

Soula - you can find a culinary converter at the right hand side (scroll down a bit) of this blog. But basically, a cup is approximately 250 ml and a pound is ca 450 g - it's simple math once you know that.

Lydia - I guess you have to :)

Griffin - I added the parsley to the mix before baking - but you can always sprinkle it liberally on top.

Luana - we all have different tastes. I loved dried oregano in this one. Parsley WAS in the dish, and I'd happily add some fresh dill next time, too.

Stevi - thank you for the clarification! And I hope you'll continue blogging about Greek food (PS I still think fondly of that 2 AM dinner on your Athens balcony after my much delayed trip back from Santorini:))

farida said...

How could I miss this post of yours:) Your kourkouto looks very good! I make it pretty often, perfect for brunch or just as a snack.

Claire Brown said...

It uses up large amounts of courgette (very useful this time of year) and you can vary it with different vegetables or cheeses. Plus it freezes well, so I make a big one, slice it up and use it for lunches :)