For the pastry
1kg All purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil, add a bit at a time just enough so the dough doesn't stick to your hands while kneading it
For the pie filling
5 or so medium size potatoes
8 or so medium size courgettes
A handful of fresh mint finely chopped
500g of mizithra (soft Greek) cheese (250g Feta and 250g of Ricotta if you can’t get mizithra)
250g. Finely grated parmesan cheese (or kefalotiri if you can find it)
150ml Olive Oil
200ml Fresh Milk
Salt and Pepper
1kg dried beans for blind baking
I have added a traditional Greek simple pastry recipe here, I use a deep rectangular baking tray internal dimensions 30cm x 22cm which gives 6 good portions. When I make these dishes, I never really measure anything properly so how many potatoes/courgettes do I use? Difficult question as I never counted, so please don’t be cross with me if you are a potato or a bit of pastry spare at the end. You could always make some kalitsounia with the pastry or even freeze it.
Mix the ingredients for the pastry and knead together until it becomes elastic and leave for 1 -2 hours covered with a clean damp tea towel.
Roll two pieces a bit larger than the baking tray and about 5mm or less thick. Put the first piece of pastry into the baking tray which you will have already lightly oiled. Pick the pastry with a fork and then place some baking paper on top and put the beans in, spreading them evenly around
Place in the oven preheated to about 170 C for around 15 minutes. Take out, discard the paper and beans and put to one side.
Slice the potato and courgettes into 5mm thick slices. Place in a pan of boiling, salted water and blanch for 5 or 6 mins. then drain. The potato wants to be almost but not quite fully cooked.
Next place the potatoes, courgettes and mizithra cheese in layers on the pastry in the baking tray, adding a sprinkling of mint, parmesan, salt and pepper on each layer. When the pie is full, drizzle some olive oil over the layers then beat 2 of the eggs and add them to the milk and pour this mixture into the pie evenly too.
Then add the second piece of pastry as a lid. Trim it, brush it with the last beaten egg and sprinkle with loads of sesame seeds. Its a good idea now to score the pastry lid into the desired amount of portions.
Then put it back into the oven for 20 – 30 minutes or so or until the top is golden brown (keep checking it)
Carnivore’s option: If you just can’t bring yourself to eat a veggie dish (even one a lovely as this one) try this - Whisk together the juice of a lemon, some olive oil, oregano, chopped mint and a pinch of salt. Bash out 4 chicken breast fillets with your fist and marinate them for 10 mins in that marinade. Heat a ridged grill pan and grill them until done. Cut them up into strips and add as an extra layer or two in the boureki. Mmmmm….Grilled Chicken Boureki.