Baked Courgette and Cheese Slice (kolokythokeftes fournou)

1. kolokythokeftes4.jpg
It was a really hot summer day and I was planing to cook «kolokythokeftedes» (courgette fritters), an absolutely amazing and very popular greek dish. First you make a tasty mixture using grated courgettes, dill, onions and cheese. Then you shape the mixture into patties or balls and fry in oil. But that day was so hot!

So, I shaped a patty and fried it to test for salt and pepper. It was very tasty but I felt, it really wasn’t the day for frying. So I put all the mixture in a baking pan, topped with some grated cheese and baked it. It was fantastic! Since then, «kolokythokeftedes» were replaced by this courgette bake. Trust me, you need neither the hassle, nor the calories from frying all those patties. Slice in squares and serve with a crisp, lemony salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg courgettes, unpeeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dill, chopped
  • ½ cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 200 grams feta cheese, diced in small pieces
  • 4 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • ½ cup grated «kefalotyri» or pecorino romano cheese, (you could also use grana padano or parmesan)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil for coating the pan

Method

Put the grated courgettes in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let them stand for one hour. During this time, the courgettes will lose volume and water. Drain them and using your hands squeeze out all the water. Alternatively you can put them in a clean, kitchen towel, roll it up, and wring the towel to extract the remaining water from the courgettes. Put courgettes in a large bowl. Mix in all the ingredients except the grated «kefalotyri» or pecorino.

Preheat oven to 200 C. Use some olive oil to brush bottom and sides of a rectangular baking pan. I use a glass, ovenproof pan, measuring 23 x 33 cm. Spread the courgette mixture in the pan and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Let it stand for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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