Greek Recipe / Cretan Recipe - Boureki.
Boureki - Courgette (Zucchini), Potato, Cream Cheese and Mint Bake.
This particular tasty vegetable pie recipe comes from the town of Hania (also spelt Chania, or Xania, but always pronounced Hania) on the island of Crete, Greece. Boureki is a Cretan recipe which can be found all over Greece, but the Hania version "Boureki of Hania" is the only one which is made with a pie crust using home made (or filo) pastry.
Note that other recipes for Boureki are similar to a vegetable bake, without the pastry. This particular recipe uses grated vegetables rather than layered, making for a perfectly cooked dish every time. (Vegetable ‘layers' are notoriously hard to evenly bake).
Boureki of Hania
1 cup of olive oil
3 cups plain flour
1 shot of ouzo
½ to 1 cup of water (as much as needed for a soft dough consistency)
Salt and pepper
Place the flour in a bowl, add the salt and pepper. Make a well in the middle and pour in the olive oil and ouzo. Mix to sticky smooth dough adding the water as needed. Halve the dough and roll out two lots of pastry to line and cover a large pie (or pyrex) dish.
3 large potatoes. Peeled
8 courgettes / zucchini (medium sized) washed
1 large carrot peeled
10oz / 350g Cretan myzithra cheese (a creamy cheese
- substitute with ricotta if myzithra unavailable)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh mint - diced
Grate the potatoes, courgettes (zucchini ) and carrot into a large bowl. Squeeze out the excess liquid by hand and discard. Add the cheese, salt, pepper and mint. Mix together.
Layer a pie dish with the rolled out pastry. Add the filling mixture and spread evenly. Cover the pie with the second layer of pastry, brush with olive oil, mark into squares and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees for 45 minutes or until the crust is well browned. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
In Crete and Greece boureki is served as a main course, accompanied by freshly baked bread and Greek salad. Delicious!
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