Sunday, July 4, 2010

kolokithopita (say that three times fast)

First and foremost, thanks for the scads of good wishes about the new job. My first day, while tiring (8 am to 6:30 on a Saturday, anyone?) was also fun- I really like the people I work with, and the shop seems to have a lot of really nice and friendly regular customers. And, uh, hello, baked goods.

Too cute not to share- someone ordered a cake for a July 4th anniversary that said “21 Years of Fireworks with You”. AWWW!

I am too zonked from all that today to participate in any 4th of July activities but I sent my mom off to a family event with this gorgey quinoa salad:


More on that in a mo.

Rewinding back to Friday night, isn’t it magical when you throw together a dish cleaning out your refrigerator and it’s insanely awesome?

So last June we were in Greece. Sometimes it feels like a gazillion years ago and sometimes I think of a specific moment- playing outdoor ping pong with my sister chatting with the weird Germans- and it feels like yesterday. Anyway, I got back to thinking the wonderful last meal we enjoyed in Greece. We ordered kolokithopita, otherwise known as squash pie- a layered concoction of seasoned shredded summer squash and phyllo dough. There are two variations on it- my family (usually my great aunt Rose) goes for the sweet twist- eggy and custardy and lovely. The last night in Athens, however, we had a savory version with dill that rocked my life. And I made myself a loverly mix that tasted like it!


And I thought of the leftover tomatoes from the sloppy joes, an oldish squash, a superold hunk of cabbage and a practically antique almost-finished roll of phyllo languishing in my fridge. And this recipe was born and it was GLORIOUS!

Fancy it was not. I began with phyllo torn up and thrown haphazardly in layers brushed with olive oil.


You could really use whatever kind of dough on this. Or just make the filling, if you don’t mind that it kind of looks like baby food.

Kolokithopita-ish Filling 
1 1/2 T pine nuts
1 1/2 T olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 c. shredded summer squash
1 1/2 c. shredded cabbage
4 peeled plum tomatoes (I used canned) chopped
1 egg
2 T flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 1/2 T fresh dill
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender. Add squash and cabbage, and stir to coat with oil. Then add tomatoes and continue to cook on medium until vegetables are tender, at which point ratchet the heat to high and stir constantly until most of the water has evaporated from the filling. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and while it is heating toast pine nuts until lightly brown. Mix with squash mixture.

Meanwhile, whisk together egg, flour, dill, and salt and pepper. Add squash mixture and stir to combine.


Put it on phyllo mess layers, top with more phyllo mess layers, and bake for 15 minutes or until mess layers are browned to your liking.



Rounding out the meal was a dish I got (ish) from The Greek Vegetarian, my latest library cookbook loan.

Like any good recipe, it began with slow cooked onions…


And continued to incorporate tomatoes, both regular and sun dried; green beans; olive oil; and scads of what was supposed to be mint but I realized- oops- I didn’t have any. Thus, parsley, my old friend.

It was pretty good.


But it was even BETTER when the remains of those green beans were repurposed into a quinoa salad today.

Along with:


Toooooooootally adorable farmer’s market mixed colored cherry tomatoes.

In total we had:
1 cup quinoa cooked in 2 cups water
~1 1/2 cups green bean mixture
~1 cup cherry tomatoes
~ 1 cup peas (for color!)
~2 T chopped green onions
~1/4 cup parsley
~1/4 cup vinaigrette


Do we not love this beautiful, colorful salad?! I hope there are leftovers :D



Monique@She's Going The Distance said...

I wish I knew how to even pronounce that, haha.

Love those heirloom tomatoes, they're sooo tasty!!

Anonymous said...

I don't like tomatoes but those ones are very cool!

I was actually going to attempt saying kolokithopita three times but I had enough difficulty saying it once that I gave up. :P

fittingbackin said...

I DO love the look of that fabulous salad!! I want to go to Greece!

Anna A. said...

I love your take on kolokithopita! Never though of using pinenut in the filling but it totally makes sense (salavating!!!).