Make or Bake this Outbreak

Liz Sun and Emily Venezky have brought their baking skills home for this outbreak…

BY // LIZ SUN

I was introduced to the concept of savory vegetarian pies about 10 years ago, when my older sister, Enid, had to babysit me during summer vacation.

She, like me, is a major foodie and cooking fanatic (she actually had a food blog of her own during college, affectionately punned “Lim Sun,” a combination of our last name and her friend’s who co-wrote recipes).

As an 11 year old, the idea of vegetables being tasty seemed ludicrous. Especially a vegetable PIE? As if! And yet, every afternoon that Enid whipped up a new creation, I ate every single bite on the plate. She had a gift. A persuasive gift, maybe, convincing a child to eat her veggies. But looking back, I truly appreciate the time we spent preparing the pie filling, lining the tin with dough, watching it crisp in the oven, and finally digging in during an episode of Modern Family or Doctor Who.

My sister had used a potato leek pie recipe, which when done right can be very delectable. However, I find the flavors a bit tricky to balance, so I decided to seek out a similar pie but different filling. And my god, is this just darn delicious! I made it about a week ago for my cousin and mom, who are now working from home. And what better way to endure the long weeks with your family than with some homemade pie?


Kokothikopita

Ingredients:

2 – 2.5 lbs zucchini (about 3 or 4)

~1 – 2 cups salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 – 4 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup chopped dill (dried is fine)

¼ cup combination of mint & parsley

1 cup crumbled feta

3 eggs, beaten

1 box phyllo dough (you’ll only need 12 sheets)

Pepper to taste

 

Steps:

1. Grate the zucchini or grind in a food processor and place in a colander.

2. Salt the zucchini and let drain for 1 hour, pressing down every 10 to 20 minutes to squeeze out liquid. After an hour, take handfuls of the zucchini and squeeze out any remaining moisture (this is easier done when the clumps are wrapped in a kitchen towel and you twist the towel to squeeze the liquid out), then place zucchini in a bowl.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat.

4. Add the garlic and onions, cook and stir until onions are tender (about 5 minutes).

5. Let the onions cool for a few minutes, then add to the zucchini.

6. Stir in herbs, feta, eggs, and pepper.

7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

8. Grease a 10-inch pie or cake pan.

9. Line the pie dish with 7 phyllo sheets, lightly brushing each piece with oil and turning the dish after adding a sheet so that the edges of phyllo drape evenly around the pan.

10. Add the pie filling and fold the draped edges in over the filling.

11. Layer the remaining 5 phyllo sheets on top, repeating the same process as before.

12. Stuff the edges into the sides of the pan, make a few slashes in the top layers, and brush with oil.

13. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown

14. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes, then enjoy!

Notes:

  • If using store-bought phyllo dough, let it sit out for a few hours to defrost.

  • I didn’t have any mint to use but still tasted fine.

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