Monday, July 25, 2011
Zucchini, Feta, and Phyllo Casserole
"All do not all things well", wrote the poet Thomas Campion. I thought of this line as I woke this morning, trying to understand why I am so skilled in the kitchen with some things and so hapless with others. I was wrestling yesterday with phyllo dough, and I could not master it. As I pulled it out of the package it shattered and crumbled like ancient parchment. I had a pile of shards. But I also had two 6 inch zucchinis, a yellow onion and 5 ounces of feta. And 3 cloves of garlic. Time for improvisation.
I put the onion and the zucchini through the grater blade of my food processor. I was too tired to dice the onion. I was too lazy to hand grate the squash. I sauteed the onion until it was just golden. In olive oil of course, with some sea salt added. Then I added the zucchini and several more tablespoons of olive oil. I tossed it well to coat the vegetables, and threw a little more sea salt in. I tried to be judicious with the salt, remembering that I would be adding feta. Next I added the garlic cloves, which I sent through the garlic press. I could have diced them, but I did not feel like doing anything bitty. When the Zucchini had softened and cooked through, I added 4 ounces of Feta cheese, and mixed everyting well. Then I spooned half the vegetables into the bottom of a small two handled casserole pan. Then I layered on the phyllo pieces. A double layer, enough to hide the vegetables beneath. Then the rest of the squash mixture went on top of the second layer. I used a bit more phyllo this time, and I brushed some olive oil over it before I put it in the oven. I baked it at 325 for 25-30 minutes. It would have served two. Everything can be doubled if you need more. It was very savory. It would go well with a yoghurt cucumber soup or with fresh tomatoes sliced and dressed with sea salt and fresh basil. Oh, and I forgot to mention I added a dash of Cavender's Greek Seasoning to the mixture.
The two handled pan I used was one of a set of four I found at an estate sale. The pans were made in Italy, though they look like paella pans .