zucchini and potato pie
By: Eleni Saltas
Cretans are the masters of scores of hearty vegetable dishes. Boureki (zucchini and potato pie) is an example with its thick layers of thinly cut zucchini and potatoes. A hint of mint and a combination of Cretan cheeses enhance this flavorful dish. Some recipes call for a phyllo or crust on top, but I like the dish the Haniotiko way—no crust—making it light and just right.
5 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
4 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 large yellow onion, grated
3 cups soft mizithra cheese*
All-purpose flour, as needed
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
1 bundle of fresh mint (or half amount of dried mint)
Salt & pepper, to taste
Step by Step Instructions
With a mondoline or a knife, slice potatoes and zucchini into thin rounds. Add the zucchini to a colander and sprinkle with salt, tossing the zucchini. Add a heavy pot or bowl on top and allow the zucchini to drain for 20-30 minutes. Pat dry with a towel before using.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Brush a 9 x 13” baking dish with extra virgin olive oil.
Boureki is made in layers, so start by arranging some of the potatoes to the bottom of the baking dish in a thing layer. Season generously with salt and pepper. Then, add a thin layer of zucchini and sprinkle this layer with some flour. Season generously with salt and pepper. Potatoes and zucchini don’t carry flavor on their own so be generous with your seasonings!
Add some of the grated onion, followed by some mint and cheese. Press down on the cheese a bit to pack it in. Season with some salt and pepper.
Repeat this process until your ingredients are used up, finishing with the cheese on top. Press down and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
Cover the dish and bake for 1 hour to 90 minutes, or until the top is golden and the potatoes are tender.
Allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving. Enjoy!
*If you don’t have mizithra cheese, you can use a combination of ricotta and feta cheese, or just feta cheese. If so, use less salt in the dish as feta can be quite salty.