Golden crisp on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, this savory zucchini pie with mint speaks summer.
When we moved into our house a few years ago, my husband suggested I start a vegetable garden. As much as I wanted to, I didn’t feel like I could really take on the work and upkeep that would be required for this project (remember, I had 6-month old twins at the time!). Hubby then reduced his suggestion to me growing some herb plants, but yet again, I didn’t feel like it was something I could devote my energy to. Sad to say, I still haven’t taken on the task of growing my own vegetables or herbs, yet I know I would use everything I would grow given all my cooking.
Thankfully, there are some great local farmers markets in my area, and many of our local grocery stores sell local produce, so I enjoy the fruits and vegetables of local farmer’s labor as much as I can!
Summer Squash Overload
I think everyone pretty much knows that zucchini is in abundance by July. There’s only so much grilled zucchini, zucchini muffins and bread, and stuffed zucchini boats you can make before you get tired of the same old thing. And while zoodles are still on trend, my kids and hubby prefer real pasta noodles, so I don’t make them too often.
That leaves me looking for different ways to enjoy zucchini during the late summer and early fall. Lately I have been making baked zucchini chips with different herbs and spices for seasoning, and of course I grill zucchini whenever the grill is on. One of my favorite ways to enjoy zucchini is in this summery twist on Greek spinach pie (pardon the awful pics – time for an update on that one!), aka Spanakopita, using zucchini and fresh mint. As it turns out, zucchini pie is actually a thing (and here I thought I was so creative!), known as Kolokithopita in Greek.
Greek Zucchini Pie
My version of Greek Zucchini Pie is lightened up using a mix of part-skim ricotta and feta, and instead of all the butter usually added to the layers of phyllo dough, I use olive oil spray to keep them sealed together.
The result: a golden brown, crispy yet fluffy savory pie that screams summer. Although it requires a little more time than I normally like to spend in the kitchen, especially during the summer, this recipe is worth making at the beginning of the week (perfect for Meatless Monday) and enjoyed all week long. Serve it with a Greek salad to round out the meal and get even more veggies onto your plate!
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup chopped scallions, (white and green parts)
- 2 cloves garlic,, minced (~1 tablespoon)
- 1 1/2 pounds zucchini,, grated (squeeze excess water out before cooking)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped mint
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 sheets phyllo dough,, defrosted if frozen
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x9 inch square baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high. When pan is hot, add scallions and garlic; saute about 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium, stir in grated zucchini and saute about 10 minutes, until the water has released and evaporated. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, lemon juice, ricotta, feta, oregano, and mint. Stir in zucchini mixture and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Carefully lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough across the prepared baking dish; spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray. Lay another sheet of phyllo dough on top of the first sheet; spray with olive oil spray, and repeat process with two more sheets of phyllo. The sheets will hang over the baking dish.
- Pour the zucchini cheese mixture into the baking dish over the layers of phyllo and spread with a spatula so you have an even layer.
- Layer remaining 4 sheets of phyllo dough the same way you laid the first four, spraying each with cooking spray. Fold overhanging dough over the top and spray with olive oil once more.
- Bake zucchini pie for 35-40 minutes until the phyllo is golden brown and crispy. Let cool a few minutes before serving.
Phyllo dough is very delicate. Once you unroll it, be sure to cover with a damp paper towel, and continue to cover each time you remove a piece to build the layers.