We had friends over at Easter, including the darling, Colette. Colette is a vegetarian and not a great fan of cooking so, over the years, whenever I came across a great, simple, vegetarian dish, I would give her the recipe. Belinda Jeffery’s Zucchini, Feta and Dill Pie, is one such recipe. Colette even got Mix and Bake for a birthday present one year. It is not a vegetarian book but Belinda’s books do include a significant number of vegetarian recipes.
Anyway, I have made this recipe a couple of times before and knew it was very tasty and easy to make so, despite having given Colette the recipe, I decided to make it. Big mistake!! My kindness came back to bite me:)
When Colette asked what was for dinner and I told her it was going to be Belinda’s Zucchini, Feta and Dill Pie, she looked a bit taken a back and then said, “tried and true”. With trepidation, I asked her how many times she had made it. “About 10,” was her reply. Hooly dooly!
It just goes to show what a good recipe it is. It is especially good in summer when zucchinis and tomatoes are cheap and plentiful.
The situation is getting serious. I only have a limited number of tried and true vegetarian recipes to call on. No more recipes for Colette.
This recipe serves 6. It is from Mix & Bake by Belinda Jeffery.
- Fine polenta, for dusting the tin
- 700g zucchini, coarsely grated
- 5 eggs
- 125 mls olive oil
- 1 cup chives, chopped (I usually use chopped spring onions)
- ½ cup dill or mint or basil, chopped (I used basil this time)
- 220g feta (You need a good Greek crumbly feta, like Dordoni. Don’t buy Danish feta for this.)
- 150g parmesan, grated
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 150g self-raising flour
- cherry tomatoes, halved
- mint leaves, to serve (I forgot the mint leaves, damn it).
- Put the grated zucchini into a large sieve set over a bowl, sit a plate on top, weigh it down (I used a couple of tins of canned food) and leave to drain.
- Butter a 22cm square cake tin and line the base and sides with buttered baking paper. Dust the tin with the polenta, tap out the excess, and set aside.
- Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk them together.
- Add the oil, chives (or shallots) and dill (or mint or basil) and whisk to combine.
- Squeeze out as much liquid from the zucchini as possible, then stir the grated zucchini into the egg mixture.
- Crumble most of the feta (reserving a little for the top of the pie) into the mixture and stir to combine.
- Add the parmesan and stir again.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the flour and mix until it is well combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin, then smooth the top with a spatula.
- Sprinkle the reserved feta over the top and gently press cherry tomato halves, cut side up, into the surface.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top of the pie is springy when pressed.
Belinda advises to make sure the top is quite bouncy.
- When it’s ready, take the pie out of the oven and cool it in the tin for 10 -15 minutes.
- Scatter some mint leaves on top.
- Serve with a green salad.
Belinda suggests, if you are brave enough: grasp the baking paper and lift the pie out of the tin onto a serving plate, then slide the paper out from underneath. Or, if you are not that brave, put a wire rack on top and invert the pie onto the rack. Peel away the paper, then sit your serving platter on top of the pie and invert it again or … if you are a wuss, serve from the tin:)