Minted Courgette Pies

Minted Courgette Pies


Individual filo pastry pies, Greek-style with feta cheese, egg and mint, is a particularly good destiny for courgettes. They end up like a golden pillow, puffed and swollen with a gorgeously moist and creamy filling. I like them with a tomato relish made with balsamic vinegar cooked shallots and masses of coriander.

Method:
Wash, trim and grate the courgettes on the large hole of a cheese grater. Spread out in a colander, sprinkle with 1 dsp salt and leave to disgorge for 20 minutes. Squeeze handfuls of the courgette to get rid of excess liquid then pile into a c lean tea towel and wring dry. Meanwhile, lightly beat the eggs, season with black pepper and nutmeg, then add the cream, crumble the feta directly into the bowl and add three quarters of the Parmesan and mint. Mix thoroughly. Stir the dry courgette into the mixture. Heat the oven to 400F/200C/gas mark 6 and lightly oil a baking sheet. Pour the remaining oil into a ramekin or similar and have your pastry brush at the ready. Unfurl the filo, paint the top sheet with oil, fold it in half to make an almost square and paint the surface. Keep the remaining pastry covered with a damp tea towel at all times in order to avoid it drying and turning crackly. Place a sixth of the mixture in the middle of the square and bring the corners of the square to the centre to securely but not too tightly encase the filling. Paint the surface generously with oil. Prepare a second sheet of pastry, lift the pie into the middle and repeat the folding and oiling to glue and secure the filling. Transfer to the baking sheet and repeat five more times. Bake for 20 minutes until puffed and golden.

While the pies cook, make the relish. Peel, halve and finely chop the shallots. Heat the oil in a small pan and stir in the shallots. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until taking colour and beginning to soften. Add the balsamic vinegar. Cook for about 8 minutes until the onions are moist rather than wet. Tip into a serving bowl to cool. Cover the tomatoes in boiling water and count to 20. Drain then plunge into cold water to prevent them turning mushy. Cut out the core in a pointed plug shape and remove the skin. Quarter the tomatoes, scrape away the seeds and dice the flesh. Stir the tomatoes into the cooled onions. Chop the coriander and stir into the relish.

Serve crusty hot pies with a dusting of remaining Parmesan and the relish on the side.

Serves 6-8

Prep: 25 mins

Cook: 20 mins

 

Ingredients

500g courgettes

2 large eggs

nutmeg

100g full fat crème fraiche or thick cream

150g Greek feta cheese

40g freshly grated Parmesan

10g chopped mint or 2 tsp dried mint

200g filo pastry

approx 7 tbsp olive oil

 

for the relish:

3 shallots

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

400g vine tomatoes

25g coriander