Leek Pie

leekpie2

A vegetarian’s lucky day! Although I’m a sworn carnivore, I would never say no to a veggie pie for lunch, dinner or, oh yes, breakfast. The abundance of fresh vegetables in Cyprus makes it so easy for us to eat and cook creative dishes using all kinds of greens. I chose leeks for this recipe as I like their sweet taste. Resist the temptation to buy ready made pie pastry. Making your own is so worth the extra effort.

For the pastry

  • 700 gr unbleached white flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbs white wine or cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ cup lukewarm water

For the filling

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 leeks chopped (approx. 600gr)
  • 6 spring onions, chopped (white and green parts)
  • 2 courgettes, coarsely grated
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup dill, chopped
  • 1 cup pasley, chopped
  • 300 gr feta cheese, crushed in chunks
  • salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper

Method

Make the pastry. In a large bowl (or in a mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook) mix the flour and salt. Make a well in the centre and add the lukewarm water, ½ cup olive oil and the vinegar. Knead until a soft dough forms. If its too wet add some more flour. Let the dough rest in an oiled bowl covered with a kitchen towel, for at least 1 hour. The longer you let it rest the easier it will be for you to roll it.

Make the filling while dough rests. In a large saucepan, heat the remaining ½ cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, spring onions and courgettes. Cook, stiring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the mint, dill and parsley and cook for another 5 minutes until all vegetabes are soft and cooked through. Take pan off the heat and let mixture cool completely. When cool add crumbled feta, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 200 C fan (390 F). Assemble the pie. Divide dough in 6 equal parts. Roll each piece of dough as thinly as you can into a large circle, about 35 cm diametre. Put rolled dough circle in a large baking pan. Using a pastry brush, spread dough liberally with olive oil. Roll another piece of dough, same size as before and lay on top of the first one. Spread second piece of dough with olive oil. Finish with a third piece of dough. Spread the filling in the center of the pie leaving a 5-6 cm border all around. Top filling with the other three sheets of dough, making sure you spread each sheet with olive oil. Using your hands roll the dough all the way around the pie to enclose the filling. With a sharp knife, make 8 slashes on top of the pie. Make a hole in the centre to let the steam escape. Bake the in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 150 C (305 F) and bake for another 35 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature with dollops of thick, greek yogurt.

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