On the last Wednesday of the month, the local Anglican Church’s Lunch Box holds a ‘pot luck’ buffet. Actually, not so much pot luck as well organised by Lunch Box leader Rhona Barker, who sorts out who’s bringing what so that the spread consists of a balanced variety of dishes (this organisational feature was imposed after the first buffet lunch, when almost everyone contributed a Lidl pie!).

This month, my contribution was Courgette Pie, which was well received. I thought I would share the recipe (note: this is a pastry-less pie; I suppose it is better described as a ‘bake’, but ‘pie’ is the correct translation from the Greek):

Courgette Pie (Kolokythopita)

3 large courgettes, about 8-9 inches long Salt

200 gr feta cheese, crumbled

100 gr Gouda cheese, grated

A handful of dill or wild fennel leaves, finely chopped

1 teacup Trahanas *

Freshly ground black pepper

4 eggs, beaten

Grate the courgettes into a large bowl, discarding the top and the tail. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes to drain of excess liquid. At the end of the period, squeeze with your hands to remove as much of the liquid as possible. Place the squeezed courgette into another large bowl. Add the feta cheese, Gouda, dill leaves, Trahanas and black pepper and mix well. Add the eggs and mix in evenly. Transfer to a well-oiled ovenproof dish (Pyrex or similar) and place in the oven, preheated to 175 degrees. Bake for around 45 minutes until the pie is set and lightly browned on top. It is best served warm.

* This was the first time I made Courgette Pie with Trahanas, as I have always used parboiled rice as the ballast. I was prompted to replace the rice by my friend Diana Farr Louis in her Greek food blog, Stories and Foods of Greece (https://dianafarrlouis.wordpress.com).

Diana is the author of recipe books ‘Prospero’s Kitchen’ and ‘Feasting and Fasting in Crete’. Trahanas is the Greek equivalent of the Couscous of North africa, in that it is very absorbent and takes up the flavour of whatever it is cooked in. A bag of Trahanas contains pellets which look like unevenly-formed pasta blobs, which are made of flour and soured milk. You can get them in most supermarkets, on the pasta shelf – but make sure you buy the sour variety, not the sweet one.

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