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 .


Out on the prairie said...

Keep a moist towel on the pastry.It may have set in the freezer section too long and dehydrated.There is a fold you can do with each strip like folding a flag making individual servings.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Betsy!
Thanks for your comment on my blog.. It is always nice to meet someone who was "born in Brooklyn" as I was! :)

I think your phyllo dough was dried out. It doesn't store well for long in the freezer. It is still edible but will be brittle, as you experienced. I've had the same trouble at times.

This is a nice recipe, I have lots of zucchinis from my brother's garden and I am always looking for new ways to prepare them.